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The International Prophetic Voice for the Endtimes

MARCH 2012—$4.75

A Minor Prophet with a Major Message
Pg. 12

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

• The Missing 45 Days • Evangelizing the Church • Keeping the Law

Age of Celebrity: Eternity Abandoned for Fleeting Immortality
Pg. 18

Pg. 31

World Conspiracy in Light of the Bible – PART IX
Pg. 22

The Testimony of Paul
Pg. 24

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:
and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17).

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ost people, Christians and non-Christians alike, believe in prayer. Virtually all governments in the world reserve a place for religious prayer during political gatherings, memorials and holidays. It seems but natural that man realizes there is a God; there is something more than meets the eye. This is also expressed when disaster strikes— man cries out to God. There are days set aside by governments for a National Day of Prayer. Many different organizations and movements have arranged prayer meetings for certain important issues facing the nation. In Germany, they have a national holiday called Buss und Bettag (Day of Prayer and Repentance). It’s a government holiday and virtually everything is closed.

The Secret Prayer
But there is another side of prayer, practiced by millions of Christians, hidden away from the public eye; no government or news agency knows about it. It is the world’s most powerful prayer meeting. It’s practicing Matthew 6:6, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” That’s what this book Prayer and Revival is all about. It’s for serious Christians. It’s for those who want to talk to God in private. The author, Dr. Wim Malgo, was a distinctive prayer warrior who showed what the Bible has to say about prayer which leads to revival.

PRAYER AND REVIVAL
ITEM # 1002 • 224 pgs. • Paperback

$10.99 Sale $10
Author: Dr. Wim Malgo

This is not a popular book; it will not cause excitement, or public enthusiasm. It’s a book that speaks to you personally and

is heaven directed.

C O N T E N T S
COVER STORY

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Jesus Is Coming Soon!
By Nathanael Winkler
The Thessalonians knew of the day of the Lord. They knew that the Lord would return, and they lived in this expectation. This is the great hope that we have: Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming soon!

26 NETHERLANDS
Single-Molecule Car?

26 CHINA
The Communist’s Love for Luxury

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A Minor Prophet with a Major Message

By Dr. Ron J. Bigalke
Amos warned Israel that God was angered by the religious perversion and social injustices of the nation, and would not withhold judgment while its members continued in sin. Amos proclaimed that social inequity is a symptom for meaningless religiosity. The evident social injustices indicated the barren spiritual condition of the people.

27 BRAZIL
Cover Up or Religious Discrimination?

28 LATVIA
A Lesson of Painful Austerity for Greece

$ 18 Money: Ends and Trends Age of Celebrity: Eternity Abandoned for Fleeting Immortality
By Wilfred Hahn
A world without Biblical values is likely to give its affections and adoration to “celebrities” of an undeserving variety. The Bible is much more selective as to who is deserving of “glory.” After all, there is no direct correlation between celebrity and the merits of righteous fame and glory.

29 VATICAN
Support for a New World Economic Order

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World Conspiracy in Light of the Bible – Part IX 30 WORLD
UN Wants Better Life for World’s 7 Billion People
Correction: The introductory verse of the February 2012 Editor’s Note should have been Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God which brings salvation has appeared to all men.”

By Johannes Pflaum
In the end, sin, lawlessness and apostasy will come to maturity. From a Biblical point of view, this “away from God movement” of the world population, together with the opening up to dark powers, is completely sufficient to pave the way for the appearing of the Antichrist.

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The Testimony of Paul Fellow Laborers

By Norbert Lieth

By Arno Froese

DEPARTMENTS

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Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Peter Malgo

* 31

Letters to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Arno Froese THE MISSING 45 DAYS...EVANGELIZING THE CHURCH...KEEPING THE LAW

Midnight Call
MARCH 2012

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N O T E

“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God…you became
followers of us, and of the Lord…”
(1 Thess. 1:4, 6).
B y P e t e r M a l g o
us, the time will come when we must transfer the relay baton. But to whom must it be transferred? It is very important to set the switches correctly for the successors at the right time. In Deuteronomy 30:9, the Lord promises rich blessings to Israel if it keeps His commandments, and then we read, “The LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers.” We too may still participate in the blessings which our fathers, our predecessors, received. And already, the third generation inside our ministry is at work. That encourages us. However, such a thing does not happen automatically. Many a blessed work could not exist any longer, because those responsible could not let go in time and there were no successors. This has concerned me repeatedly these last months. We also see that often in the world: if the CEO of a company does not provide for his successor in time, his lifework usually ends in failure. It is good for us to know that our ministry work is at the same time the work of

ast October we buried our former colleague Ernst Kraeutli. He could go home to his heavenly Lord and Master at a high old age. With his home-going, Midnight Call has lost one of the last witnesses and coworkers of our beginning. He was with us at the time when the work was founded in April 1955. For many years, he was a member of the board of directors. And finally, after the home-going of Wim Malgo, he also exercised the office of president for several years. Now he can see Him in Whom he has believed unshakably and with all his heart. Such a farewell as we experienced always reminds us of our own transitory state. Our life here on earth is, as Job expresses it, a mere breath. In Psalm 90:10 it is written very graphically: “…for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Whether we are coworkers or friends of the ministry, our active time is limited. This is why it is so important that we devote everything for the Lord’s work as long as we have strength. For every one of
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NOTE

The Prophetic Voice for the Endtimes

ISSN 1094–8600

PRINTED IN 12 LANGUAGES

Published 12 times a year by

the Lord. We know the old hymn of faith: “The task is Thine, Lord Jesus Christ, the task in which we stand; and since it is Your work, O Lord, it cannot leave Your hand.” Nevertheless, this does not release us from the responsibility to take the successor question very seriously. Of course, one thinks first of one’s children, for they stand closest. But children cannot inherit their parents’ faith and become God’s children. The Bible contains several examples of greatly blessed successor arrangements, which God Himself introduced. Joshua followed Moses, Elisha followed Elijah, etc. But where the succession was determined by men, things often went wrong. Think of the many Old Testament royal dynasties. Paul knew about the importance of succession. His own mandate and service had begun with God’s words to Ananias: “he is a chosen vessel to me…” (Acts 9:15). Years later, his own succession was at stake. For instance, Paul saw the Thessalonians as his successors: “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God…you became followers of us, and of the Lord…” (1 Thess. 1:4, 6). Even more clearly, we see His farsightedness and his practical procedure with Timothy and Titus, whom he first employed as his representatives: “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Cor. 4:17). And he called Titus his companion and coworker (2 Cor. 8:23). He encouraged his successors, led them on, built them up, and finally passed the relay baton on to them. It is our prayer to receive the grace from God to clearly recognize His applicable plan for our ministry work with all its branches in order to make the correct decisions regarding the future. MC

MIDNIGHT CALL, INC.
PO Box 280008 Columbia, SC 29228 Physical Location: 4694 Platt Springs Road West Columbia, SC 29170

Founder — Dr. Wim Malgo (1922 – 92) International Editor — Peter Malgo Executive Editor — Arno Froese Contributing Authors — Norbert Lieth, Marcel Malgo, Wilfred Hahn, Dr. Ron J. Bigalke, Reinhold Federolf, Samuel Rindlisbacher, Ernst Kraft and Thomas Lieth
Layout Designers: Michelle Kim and Lisa Dixon • Text Typist: Lynn Jeffcoat • Copy Editor: Kimberly Farmer • Customer Service: Kathy Roland and Debbie Hale • Production Manager: Simon Froese • Pressroom: Wade Haygood, Dwight Mims and Chad Vining • Post Press: Dana Hale, Teresa Vining, Melissa Martin, Andrea Hamilton and Brian Corbett • Special Order: Ruth Froese • German-English Translators: Ann Fankhauser and Ellen Myers

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USA and Canada: PO Box 280008 Columbia, SC 29228, USA Australia: Major Rintje Taekema 3 Cleveland Drive, Hoppers Crossing, Victoria 3029 AUSTRALIA e-mail: taekema@optusnet.com.au New Zealand: 142 Cambridge Ave., Ashurst South Africa: P.O. Box 3105, 1729 Witbeck TVL.

WEBSITE
www.midnightcall.com

INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS
“Mitternachtsruf” (German) Ringwiesenstrasse 12a, 8600 Du ¨ bendorf, Switzerland; “Middernachtsroep” (Dutch) Postbus 193, 3940 AD Doorn, Netherlands; “L’Appel de Minuit” (French) Ringwiesenstrasse 12a, 8600 Du ¨ bendorf, Switzerland; “Chamada de Meia Noite” (Portuguese) Obra Missionaria Chamada de Meia Noite, Caixa Postal 1688, 90001–970 Porto Alegre RS, Brazil; “Llamada de Medianoche” (Spanish) Apdo. Postal 1400, 01901 Guatemala; “CDM Italia” (Italian) Via Monte Rosa 88 D, IT 10155 Torino TO; “Ejfeli Kialtas” (Hungarian) H-1135 Budapest, Peloc u. 2 (no longer available in Russian) OUR TASK Midnight Call Ministries is a nonprofit missionary organization, dedicated to proclaiming the entire Bible as the unfailing and eternal written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the unerring guide for the Christian faith. The object of Midnight Call is to call people everywhere to Christ, to proclaim the Second Coming of Christ, to prepare Christians for His coming, and to uphold the faith and warn of false doctrines. Midnight Call magazine is available in twelve languages. All work done through radio, literature and missionaries is supported entirely by the gifts and free will offerings of God’s people. STATEMENT OF FAITH WE BELIEVE in the divine inspiration of the whole Bible and therewith the infallibility of the Holy Scripture, which is God’s Word, and in the eternal Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. WE BELIEVE Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and shed His blood to save mankind. He died and arose bodily the third day and later ascended into heaven. WE BELIEVE that the Lord Jesus Christ died in the place of each individual sinner and that all who believe in Him as their personal Savior are justified through His shed blood and have become children of God. WE BELIEVE that Israel is God’s chosen people, and that the restoration of the Jews to their own land is the fulfillment of the Word of God. WE BELIEVE in the pre–tribulational appearance of Jesus Christ for the Rapture of His Church (all born again believers). WE BELIEVE in the immortality of our souls and the resurrection of our bodies, and in the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting punishment of the lost.

In light of the times, News From Israel is
a necessary monthly magazine that will keep you updated on breaking developments throughout the Middle East. News From Israel uncovers hidden information the news media leaves out!

To start or renew your News From Israel magazine subscription, please use the order form on the insert or pg. 47, or call 800-845-2420 with your credit card ready.

• 32 pages • $ 18 for a one-year subscription • 12 issues

MARCH 2012

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N AT H A N A E L W I N K L E R

We have been hearing these words for so long now: “The Lord is coming soon!” Is He really coming soon? Or are we wrong?

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Our ministry is continually receiving letters and telephone calls from people asking this same question:“You have been saying for so long that Jesus is coming soon. Is this true or not?”

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urely you have asked yourself this question, “When will Jesus come?” My little boy asked himself this question, and came to the conclusion, “Daddy, I don’t think Jesus is coming.” I wanted to know why. He answered, “You have been saying for so long that Jesus is coming soon, and I am already eight years old. So, I don’t think Jesus is coming. I have been waiting for so long!” I attempted to explain to him that this hope was already 2,000 years old, and what it means to live in this hope. Our ministry is continually receiving letters and telephone calls from people asking this same question: “You have been saying for so long that Jesus is coming soon. Is this true or not?” What does the Word of God have to say to us on this matter? In 1 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul writes: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (Scofield Bible margin: precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:4).

The Church at Thessalonica was a young church. The book of Acts reports of its founding. For three weeks, Paul preached in the synagogue at Thessalonica. Perhaps he was there later on, but he could not have spent much time in Thessalonica because he had to flee from this city. Jews and many Greeks were converting to Jesus, “And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few” (Acts 17:4). But a rebellion took place in Thessalonica; some believers were thrown into jail, and ultimately Paul and Silas had to leave the city (verse 10). So Paul did not spend much time there. He went on to Berea where the people “…were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (verse 11). In spite of the persecution, however, a church was founded in Thessalonica. “But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people” (verse 5). The whole city was in an uproar! Many people probably didn’t even know why. From the beginning the church at Thessalonica had to suffer persecution, as we read in the first and second letter to the Thessalonians. In spite of this, the church remained an example, as Paul testified, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7). Paul knew what persecution was. He was very worried about this young church. He knew what consequences persecution could have. Paul wanted to visit the Thessalonians, but Satan hindered him: “But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. Wherefore we would have come
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Timothy also had questions from the church in Thessalonica. One question was,“What about the believers who have died?”
unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us” (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18). Therefore, he sent Timothy to Thessalonica as soon as possible: “And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: that no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto” (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3). In this country, we do not know what it is to be persecuted on account of our faith in Jesus Christ. But we should understand the situation of the Thessalonians, because then we can understand why Paul made the hope of the return of Jesus so important to them. In spite of the persecution and suffering which the church had had to endure from the first day of its existence, Timothy came back from Thessalonica encouraged: “But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you…” (1 Thessalonians 3:6). Although Paul had not been in Thessalonica for very long, this church was well instructed. It was probably hungry for the Word of God, so Paul had much to share with the Thessalonians. They knew of the day of the Lord. They knew that the Lord would return, and they lived in this expectation. In 2 Thessalonians, which is more about the day of the Lord, Paul writes: “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5). When Paul was in Thessalonica, then, he had already spoken about the day of the Lord. In many churches today, people do not like to speak of this. It is a difficult subject. But for Paul it was a part of his message, even for a young church. This is the great hope that we have: Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming soon! Timothy also had questions from the church in Thessalonica. One question was, “What about the believers who have died?” Whether it was on account of their age, through persecution, or as a result of sickness, some had already died in
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Thessalonica. And now the church asked the anxious question, whether these believers had missed anything. Would they not be there when Jesus comes? The Thessalonians lived in brotherly love (1 Thessalonians 4:9), and were therefore worried about their fellow Christians. A second question was: “Has the day of the Lord already taken place?” Why did they think this? Because the Thessalonians were informed about the day of the Lord and the return of Jesus, they believed in their distress that this day had now come. That was one reason. On the other hand, people had come into the young church who spread false doctrines. In the second letter to the Thessalonians (which was written soon after the first and is actually an addition to it), Paul writes, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, that the day of Christ is at hand” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2). People had come who had claimed that the day of the Lord had already come. Some even brought counterfeit letters to underscore this claim. This confused the Thessalonians, because they believed that the letters were from Paul. Paul had said one thing, and now the letters which were supposedly from him said something different. And then there was the matter of the persecution. On these matters Paul wrote the first and second letters to the Thessalonians.

Paul wrote the 1st letter to the Thessalonians
as a pastor who is worried about his church: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). In verses 13-18, he answers the first question, “What about the believers who have died?” This answer was to be an encouragement to the Thessalonians and to give them strength, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (verse 18). Paul used, as Jesus had, the word “asleep” for those who had died. Those who die in faith in Christ are “asleep.” They are not dead as the world under-

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The moment a believer dies, he is in the presence of God.
stands this, but find themselves in a kind of sleep. What kind of sleep is this? In Acts 7, we read of the stoning of Stephen, “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (verses 59-60). The author speaks here also of being “asleep.” Yet Stephen himself said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” The moment a believer dies, he is in the presence of God. What did Jesus promise the thief on the cross? “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Yes, the spirit comes into the presence of God immediately, but not the body which is dead. The resurrection of the body only takes place later. The body of the believer is asleep when they die. We Christians have a hope. What is this hope? “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Paul goes back to the foundation of conversion: “If we believe that Jesus died….” Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for you? Philippians 2:8 says, “…he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Often, the emphasis is put on the physical suffering of the Lord. That which He suffered physically was cruel, but when Jesus was nailed to the cross, it was about much more than this physical suffering. On the cross Jesus Christ cried, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). He was in the loneliest place on earth. At this moment, Jesus took our sins upon Himself, so that the Father could have no fellowship with His Son. At this moment, He paid what we deserved. Paul continues in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 and writes, “…and rose again.” When you visit the Garden Tomb in Israel (whether or not this really is the tomb of Jesus), you can read on a plaque, “He is not here: for he is risen.” The tomb is empty! Without

the resurrection, Jesus would have been a great prophet, an example for many, but not a Redeemer. He died for us. He rose for us. “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” (2 Corinthians 4:14). We have this guarantee: because Jesus was raised by God the Father, we have the proof and the guarantee that everything is paid for. It is proof of our salvation, and we also will be raised. The resurrection is very important. It is often looked upon as a legend today and not a historical fact, unfortunately even in Christian circles. But Paul writes, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21). Paul also testifies concerning himself to show how important this message is: “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32). If Jesus Christ did not rise again, then our faith is in vain. From 1 Thessalonians 4:15, it is about the Rapture of the Church: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord…” Paul emphasizes with these words in particular that that which he is now going to say is a word of the Lord. It is not his own words but a word of the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 15:51, he calls the Rapture a mystery. A mystery is something that hitherto has not been revealed. The Rapture is a mystery. We do not know when it will take place. It is and will remain a mystery until it takes place. “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:15). Notice the words Paul uses, “We which are alive and
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“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”
remain.” He did not know when the Rapture would take place, but he expected it. Paul is giving us a general rule here: Jesus is coming! And we who “are alive” are ready! He is including himself in this rule. We all hope that Jesus will come while we are still alive—as soon as possible! But the Lord has His times, and it does not make any difference if we die today and the Lord only returns in three years’ time. For those who are alive and for those who have already died, everything will be the same at the Rapture. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (verse 16). Only God knows when the Rapture will take place. The Lord Himself will give the command, and then the voice of the archangel will sound. Only one archangel is mentioned in the Bible: the archangel Michael (Jude 9). Gabriel is also an important angel, but he is not called an archangel. The trump of God will sound. In 1 Corinthians 15:52, the same trump, the last trump is mentioned. There are various theories as to what this trump is. We can first hold on to the fact that it is a “trump of God.” It is a special trump. And it is a last trump. We can understand this in different ways. I do not think, however, that it has anything to do with the last, seventh trump in the book of the Revelation. At the time when Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians, the book of Revelation did not even exist. Paul died long before John wrote the book of Revelation. The last trump in the Revelation is a trump of judgment. In 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians, it is about the Church and not the judgment of God which will come upon the earth. We can understand the last trump as a parallel to Exodus 19. At that time, the people of Israel stood before Mount Sinai. The Israelites were not allowed to touch the mountain because it was holy, on account of the presence of God. “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud
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upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice” (verses 16-19). This trumpet called the people of Israel to come to God. The last trumpet is perhaps a counterpart to this trumpet: God is calling. God will descend, “and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (verse 17). 1. The command will come; 2. The voice of the archangel will sound; 3. The trump of God will sound; 4. God will come down; 5. “The dead in Christ shall rise first”; 6. Afterwards, “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds”; and, 7. “so shall we ever be with the Lord.” “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (verse 18). These words were to serve to encourage the Church at Thessalonica. Whether we live or die, every Christian has the same hope: Jesus is coming. He is coming for the Church.

The Thessalonians wanted to know also when this would all take place. Paul wrote of a mystery, and he included himself when he spoke of the Rapture. He reckoned with the fact that Jesus could have returned at that time. About the “times and seasons,” however, he wrote, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you” (1 Thessalonians 5:1). Why did they not need to know that? Firstly, because the Thessalonians were in any case pre-

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It is not our business to know the “times and the seasons.” One thing is sure: none of us know the date. Those who want to name a date are contradicting the Lord Jesus.
idea was that the Lord had come, but only in spirit. Just imagine for a moment that I could tell you when the Lord will return. Imagine I could give you the exact date and prove it. What would you do with this knowledge? You would probably turn your whole life around. You would no longer do many things that you do now. You would not waste your time on meaningless things. If we knew that the Lord would come one year from today, we would attempt to put every dispute or quarrel in order. We would evangelize our neighbors. It would not matter what they thought of us then. The Lord would be coming. If we have the fact before our eyes that the Lord is coming, and were to live our lives with this event in mind, we would change many things in our lives. Put the things in order in your life that you need to now, because the Lord could come today. He could come tomorrow. Your whole life should be concentrated on this event. The Lord is coming! We do not want it to be too late, because we do not know the day or the hour. Peter testified in 2 Peter 1:19, “We also have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” We do well to heed the prophetic Word. We must recognize the time in which we are living. The prophetic Word is being fulfilled before our very eyes. This should wake us up. The people of Israel who were dispersed for 2,000 years are returning to their land. God is taking up His plan with His people Israel again. This means that His plan with the Church will soon be complete. Live in readiness, whatever is coming. It could be too late for you today, because you do not know what this day will bring. Be prepared. The Lord is coming soon! Be a witness, whether you are rich or poor, sick or healthy. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is (MR1111/483) coming soon.
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pared. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” (verse 2). If we want to talk about the day of the Lord, we must take 2 Thessalonians into consideration. There Paul goes into this subject in far greater detail and explains what has to take place before the day of the Lord comes. The question of “times and seasons” has been contemplated on by many people. It is no new question. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:6-7). It is not our business to know the “times and the seasons.” One thing is sure: none of us know the date. Those who want to name a date are contradicting the Lord Jesus. Christian sects have arisen in this way. It was once proclaimed that the Lord would return on a day in March 1844. Many people prepared for this. The nearer the date came, the more people sold or gave away their possessions, because they thought the Lord was coming. But the Lord did not come. So they had to find an explanation and set the date for October 22, 1844. But the Lord did not come then either, and many Christians lost their faith. Through this, new Christian sects arose such as the Seventh Day Adventists. They explained that Jesus did not come because the Sabbath was not being kept. Another

A Minor Prophet with a Major Message
The author of the Book of Amos is regarded as a “minor” prophet. As with all the prophetical books, the prophet had a “major” message of great relevance to the nation of Israel.
By Dr. Ron J. Bigalke

A

mos will certainly be an intriguing study for the next few months, since it has great application for the United States today. The customary designation for the prophetical books as either written by a “major” or “minor” prophet does not indicate the importance of a prophet’s ministry or writing (which is in contrast to being a major or minor league athlete). The designation “major” indicates that a prophet’s message was greater in length; it also means the prophet addressed a great variety of subjects in his writings. Lamentations is normally classified with the major prophets because it is closely connected to Jeremiah (both books were written by the same prophet and were concerned with the destruction of Jerusalem).

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Amos proclaimed that social inequity is a symptom for meaningless religiosity. The evident social injustices indicated the barren spiritual condition of the people.
more prosperous by any means possible. The spirituality of the nation was not focused upon God’s glory and worth; rather, the emphasis was upon exIsaiah—Daniel Hosea—Malachi ploiting the festivals and holy days for personal advantage. The prosperity of Israel was a facade for The prophetical books may be classified in rela- vast exploitation and misery. tion to Israel’s captivity. Ezekiel and Daniel describe Although he lived in the Southern Kingdom of events during the captivity. The last three books of Judah, the prophet Amos was sent to the Northern the Old Testament (in the canonical order) describe Kingdom of Israel to prophesy against the socio-ecoevents that occurred after the captivity. The other nomic corruption. The majority of his indictments prophetical books may be classified as describing were directed against the few—but highly influenpreexilic conditions. Jeremiah wrote both preexili- tial—who ruled in wealth by exploiting the ordinary cally and during the captivity; however, since the citizens, who lived in oppressive conditions. Withmajority of the prophet’s writings describe preexilic out equivocation, Amos warned Israel that God was conditions, it is classified as such. angered by the religious perversion and social injustices of the nation, and would not withhold judgment while its members continued in PREEXILIC EXILIC POSTEXILIC sin. Amos proclaimed that social inequity is a symptom for meaningless religiosity. The Isaiah—Zephaniah Ezekiel, Daniel Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi evident social injustices indicated the barren spiritual condition of the people. The prophet THE PROPHET AMOS was a vigorous spokesman for God’s justice and Amos prophesied during the reigns of Jeroboam II of righteousness. Israel and Uzziah of Judah “two years before the earthquake” (1:1). Jeroboam II reigned from 790-49 THE EXTENT OF GOD’S MAJESTY BC (2 Kgs 14:23), and Uzziah ruled from 787-35 BC (1:1-2) The primary theme of Amos is stated in 1:1(2 Chron 26:3). The social conditions referenced 2. In those verses, the majesty and sovereignty of throughout his prophecies indicate a date of compo- God is affirmed. “The LORD roars from Zion. . . .” sition late in the reign of Jeroboam II. Therefore, the God is the Lion of Judah (cf. Rev 5:5), whose roar prophecies of this book may be dated approximately echoes throughout the entire earth. Scripture is certainly communicating the truth that none of the 760 BC. Prior to the reign of Jeroboam, the Assyrian king problems of our world are impossible or too overAdad-Nirari III (811-783 BC) defeated the persistent whelming for the Lord God. He is bringing history northern threat of Aram, which allowed Israel to ex- to a conclusion, and will create a new heaven and a tend her borders into Aramean territory and to re- new earth (Rev 21—22). “Aslan is on the move.”1 In C. S. Lewis’ allegory, the Chronicles of Narnia, claim lands formerly lost (2 Kgs 14:23-29; Amos 6:13). Jeroboam’s reign was, therefore, characterized he depicted Aslan as a Christ type figure. Mr. Beaver by material prosperity, but not all subjects of the first tells Susan, “if there’s anyone who can appear Northern Kingdom of Israel shared in the wealth of before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re the nation. Although the nation prospered economi- either braver than most or else just silly.” The next cally, the enjoyment of that wealth was limited to a statement is one of the famous from the second volfew, because the majority of the people paid for the ume in the series. In response to Lucy’s question excesses of the rich. The nation sought to become whether Aslan is “safe,” Mr. Beaver replied, “Who

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A Minor Prophet with a Major Message

Amos focused upon the surrounding nations first, and then rebuked God’s own people. Each message is prefaced by the phrase, “For three transgressions … and for four.” The effect is to give emphasis to the accumulative nature of the sins of the people.
said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe [tame]. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”2 Indeed, the Lord God is not tame, as is evident from the nature and tone of Amos’ prophecy. “Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel” (4:12). The meeting with God would be an overwhelming experience, and certainly life transforming. Amos concluded his prophecy with the words, “says the LORD your God” (9:15). The final words reiterate the certainty of judgment and restoration. The earthquake prophesied in verse 1 may be dated to 750 BC (see also 2:13; 3:14-15; 6:11; 8:8; 9:1, 5). The evidence for this date is excavation at the north wall of Gezer, which indicates regional damage of the Richter magnitude 8.2 with the epicenter in Lebanon.3 The phenomenon is the most extensive earthquake that can be currently documented in Israel for the past 4,000 years. In addition to Amos (5:18-20), other prophets who lived during this time wrote with regard to the relationship between the Day of the Lord and earthquakes (Isa 2:10-21; 5:25; Mic 1:3-6). Writing centuries later (ca. 520-18 BC), the prophet Zechariah noted the earthquake in the time of Amos as a memorable event. The consistent testimony of Scripture is that natural phenomena (e.g. earthquakes, rain, storms, wind, etc.) are subject to God’s sovereign control and are employed as components of His arsenal for ruling the world in righteousness (cf. Ps 9:8; 50:3, 6; 96:13). THE EXTENT OF GOD’S JUDGMENT (1:3—2:3) The opening chapters of Amos demonstrate God’s anger against cruelty, injustice, and oppression in any nation. The first section contains a series of eight brief messages, which is an indictment against the nations, in addition to the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Amos focused upon the surrounding nations first, and then rebuked God’s own people. Each message is prefaced by the phrase,
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“For three transgressions … and for four.” The effect is to give emphasis to the accumulative nature of the sins of the people. The statement emphasizes the patience of God, because the sin that is indicated is not the first that the nation committed. The sins include benefiting from the misery of others, desecration of graves, and murder of children and women, which indicates an absolute indifference toward human life. The warning of 1:1—2:3 for God’s people is to escape the sin of the nearby nations. The first of six nations mentioned in the first section of Amos’ prophecy is Damascus, which is a reference to Aram or Syria. Damascus is condemned for threshing “Gilead with implements of sharp iron” (1:3), which occurred during the reigns of Kings Hazael (842-805 BC) and Ben-Hadad (806-770 BC), when Aram Damascus (Syria) was at the height of its power. The threshing is a reference to the brutality toward prisoners captured from Gilead (2 Kgs 8:12; 10:32-33; 13:3-7). Gaza and Tyre are condemned next for taking captive “an entire population” (1:6) and for not remembering the “covenant of brotherhood” (1:9). The two cities captured defenseless people and sold them as slaves to Edom, thereby benefiting from the misery of others. Edom is condemned for hostility to Israel when the nation was suffering. God would punish Edom “because he pursued his brother with the sword, while he stifled his compassion” (1:11). Ammon was exceedingly brutal toward defenseless children and women “in order to enlarge their borders” (1:13). Moab received the final condemnation for desecrating the grave of a king and burning his bones to lime (2:1). Even the dead were forbidden peace. God’s judgment against these six nations would be punishment with fire (1:4, 7, 10, 12, 14; 2:2). The burning of the cities is an effective reminder of God’s holiness because He is “a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29; cf. Gen 3:24; Isa 66:4). Moreover, the defenses of the nations would be devastated, which

God’s judgment against these six nations would be punishment with fire (1:4, 7, 10, 12, 14; 2:2). The burning of the cities is an effective reminder of God’s holiness because He is “a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29; cf. Gen 3:24; Isa 66:4).
harm “the apple of God’s eye” (Zech 2:8; cf. Gen 12:1-3; Ps 105:14). A POSTURE FOR BLESSING Seven is often used symbolically in Scripture to convey completeness or perfection. The extent of God’s judgment against six nations is mentioned in the first section of Amos’ prophecy (1:3—2:3). Imagine the astonishment of Israel to be the seventh and final nation to receive God’s indictment. The Southern Kingdom of Judah was indicted for disregarding God’s law (2:4-5), and the Northern Kingdom of Israel for its injustice (2:6-16). (2:4-5) First Peter 4:17 reads, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” God’s judgment against the six nations (1:3—2:3) was a prelude for His indictment against His own people. The Southern Kingdom was mentioned first, whose capital was Jerusalem from which God “utters His voice” (1:2). The other nations would be judged on the basis of God’s law “written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Rom 2:15). The law upon the heart may be regarded as “natural revelation,” and was codified through international laws and national treaties. The natural law served as the basis for God’s judgment of the nations. In his Abolition of Man (1955), C. S. Lewis defended the objectivity of values such as beauty and goodness against the modern view that such qualities are merely individualistic. Lewis wrote, “Until quite modern times all teachers and even all men believed the universe to be such that certain emotional reactions on our part could be either congruous or incongruous to it—believed, in fact, that objects did not merely receive, but could merit, our approval or disapproval, our reverence, or our contempt.”4 The objectivity of values means that one person may be correct and another wrong. For example, if someone
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would lead to either captivity or destruction. The significance of this judgment against the nations surrounding Judah and Israel is to demonstrate God’s condemnation against acts of inhumanity (e.g. 1:3, 6, 11, 13), and to prepare His own people for His indictment of them. It should not be a surprise that God’s judgment is also expressed against Judah and Israel (cf. Heb 12:4-8; 1 Pet 4:17). God is not biased or prejudicial; therefore, even His own people must be judged. The judgment upon Judah and Israel is not only an indication of universal accountability, but also the specific responsibility of God’s own people. God is both mighty and sovereign over all the peoples of the earth. All nations are accountable to God (Deut 32:8), because the moral law is written in all human hearts, even within those without the knowledge of God’s Word (Rom 1:18—2:16). The conscience is a governing principle for justice and righteousness toward human life and personal property. The beginning of Amos’ prophecy demonstrates the extent of God’s majesty and judgment against sinners, especially those who would

A Minor Prophet with a Major Message

America cannot fail to heed the lesson of Amos 2:4-5. God will not bless our nation unless its citizens are in a posture to be blessed. God’s blessing is dependent upon obeying His Word, and confessing disobedience against it (cf. Neh 9:1-38).
and the sensual), which would lead eventually to the abolition of man. Humanity “without chests” is the worship of one’s own mind and passions (a moral relativism that destroys the chest and removes morality). Although the natural law is universal, God’s people possessed the revealed law of God, which they promised to obey (Exod 19—20). Therefore, their disobedience would entail a more severe punishment than the other nations. The history of the Southern Kingdom was persistent disobedience to “have no other gods before” the God of Israel (Deut 5:7; cf. Gen 31:53-54; Deut 6:4-9; Josh 24:2, 14-17). Judah believed God would protect them indefinitely in spite of their rejection of God’s law and by following gods which are themselves lies. Having being allied with false gods (cf. Deut 32:13-18; Hos 2:4-5; 1 Cor 10:20), God’s judgment was inevitable. America cannot fail to heed the lesson of Amos 2:4-5. God will not bless our nation unless its citizens are in a posture to be blessed. God’s blessing is dependent upon obeying His Word, and confessing disobedience against it (cf. Neh 9:1-38). God will bless America if certain conditions are satisfied. However, before we are concerned for the nation, we must first examine ourselves in light of God’s Word.

regards a sunset as beautiful and another does not, then only person is correct. The same is true for the goodness and badness of actions, as opposed to these values being matters of opinion. Lewis argued that the universal acknowledgement of values and virtues is based upon natural revelation, as structured by the Creator (he called this the Tao). “The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of imagining a new primary colour, or indeed, of creating a new sun and a new sky for it to move in.”5 Rejection of the Tao is disaster for humanity, because then values such as dignity and freedom become meaningless. When human beings are regarded merely as parts of nature, then both can be conquered through technology. However, when technology has no limitations, it becomes totalitarian, or technocratic. Human beings are held in the control of an elite “inner ring” as technocracy advances, who determine plans for future generations with the present generation disconnected from the past. Lewis argued that natural law, or objective morality, is essential to the wellbeing of humanity. He was increasingly concerned that modern society is without “chests” (i.e., the higher emotions that are absolutely essential to harmonize the cerebral
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Digression: Old Testament and New Testament Law
Although it is a matter of didactic convenience to designate the Old Testament commandments as ceremonial, legal, and moral, such classifications are not found in Scripture. The rabbis counted 613 commandments in the Old Testament, which were all binding upon Israel. Therefore, the argument of James 2:10 is with regard to the Law. The Law is a unit, and if one law was broken, then all 613 would have been violated. The church lives by the Law of

God will judge all nations and individuals who are not faithful to Him. Freedom is something to celebrate, but it cannot truly function and continue without biblical faith and morality.
Christ, or the Law of the Spirit of Life (cf., for instance, 2 Cor 3 where the Ten Commandments especially are designated as a ministration of condemnation and death). Many of the commandments of the Law of Christ are the same as the Old Testament (Mosaic) Law, but many are different (e.g. no Sabbath or dietary laws). Although there are many similarities between the Mosaic Law and the Law of Christ, it is the New Covenant that forms the basis for the Law of Christ. A POSTURE FOR FREEDOM (2:6-16) The indictment against the Northern Kingdom of Israel is the only instance where four sins are actually mentioned (2:6-8). They made money by selling the righteous and needy, thereby violating social justice to such a degree that the poor were trampled into the dust of the earth. They were sexually immoral in blatant opposition to God’s law. Israel was to represent the holy God to the world by being holy (Lev 19:2), but was indulging in the profane upon the cloaks of the poor. They did not return pledges for a debt (Exod 22:14-17; Deut 24:17). Israel drank the wine acquired by fines and as an accompaniment to their immorality (cf. Exod 24:11; Numb 25:1-2; Deut 12:17-18; Judg 9:27). Israel forgot what God accomplished on their behalf (2:9-11). God “raised up” prophets to declare His Word, and also Nazirites to be examples to the people. God’s provision, however, was meaningless because the people did not desire holiness and refused to let the faithful remain obedient (2:12). As opposed to adopting a posture for blessing, God’s people “weighed down” the Lord with their sin (2:13). The indictment is not only moral and religious, but also contains a note of political insight with regard to lost opportunity. “All of life, to Amos, presents itself as a unity. Morality and religion are intimately associated with society and politics. It is not even possible to describe this in ‘cause-and-effect’ relations. It is much more intimately related than that. It is part of a realm of being for Israel [and all nations], in history and under God.”6 No human effort would be able to avert the judgment. Amos 1:3—2:16 serves to remind us that any nation that rejects human decency and justice will experience God’s judgment, and it is even more certain for God’s own people if they reject His Word and forget His provisions. Freedom is indeed precious. Americans are free to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. God has inherent freedom. Israel delighted when He exercised that control and discipline over the nations, but thought they were exempt from His freedom. God will judge all nations and individuals who are not faithful to Him. Freedom is something to celebrate, but it cannot truly function and continue without biblical faith and morality. (485)

ENDNOTES
1 2 3 C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950; reprint, New York: HarperTrophy, 1994) 84. Ibid. 86. Steven A. Austin, Gordon W. Franz, and Eric G. Frost, “Amos’s Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C.,” International Geology Review 42 (2000): 657-71. 4 5 6 C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943; reprint, New York: Collier Books, 1955) 25. Ibid. 56-57. John D. W. Watts, Studying the Book of Amos (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966) 39.

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For resources on “endtime economics” and to subscribe to the free newsletter, Eternal Value Review, visit Wilfred’s website www.eternalvalue.com or contact him at: staff@eternalvalue.com

Age of Celebrity: Eternity Abandoned for Fleeting Immortality
B y W i l f r e d H a h n

Every year Forbes publishes its list of the top 100 celebrities. The magazine’s 2011 tally of America’s top celebrities provided the most recent snapshot of this ever-changing world of fame and fortune.

o doubt, some of these people would be recognizable to readers. The latest top-100 contenders collectively earned $4.5 billion in 2010 (an average of $45 million each). Some of them were newcomers to the list, such as Justin Bieber, the young 17-year-old heartthrob crooner who ranked 3rd. Others are long-time entertainers such as Oprah Winfrey (ranked #2, who is estimated to have earned $290 million in 2010 and has a reputed net worth of over $3 billion). There can be no doubt: Celebrity is big business. A recent book, written by Jo Piazza (a former gossip columnist with the New
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York Times) entitled Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money examines how competitive and facile is this world of celebrity. Quoting her on what she names the “Hollywood Industrial Complex”: “[It is] an internecine web of businesses, all working to create value from everything a celebrity does. It includes agents, managers, and publicists, each in their own way creating new business models and revenue streams for the complex’s front line—the celebrities themselves. These individuals are constantly working to monetize everything in a celebrity’s life.” But just what really is this concept of celebrity that is so reverenced in our world? Just who qualifies to be a

Age of Celebrity: Eternity Abandoned for Fleeting Immortality
celebrity today? What is its purpose and benefit? We need to examine this phenomenon further. The answers to these questions provide some revealing observations about our times. Worldwide fame will one day again have a purer focus. The day will come where “No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected” (Isaiah 32:5, NIV). The Rich and Famous To be rich, you don’t need to be famous. However, if you can become famous, you will certainly have an easier means of becoming rich. A review of the Forbes’ list prompts some observations. For example, why is it that the president of the United States (this person being the head of the most powerful country in the world) did not qualify for the rarefied company of the list? In fact, not one of the selected top-100 celebrities solved world hunger, discovered a serum that would end cancer, or brought world peace. Yet, celebrities are famous, held in awe, and chased by the paparazzi, holding people in thrall to just gain a glimpse of them. The entire Forbes list, as far as we can tell, is comprised of entertainers, sports stars and authors. The most numerous on the list were singers. This may explain why so many people are smitten with the idea of attaining stardom by becoming a popular singer. There are today numerous “reality” TV shows that seek to identify the next star singer, the most popular of these being American Idol. Hundreds of thousands of people clamor to audition for these shows. The producers of these programs apparently believe that they are doing America a great service by finding the next star. In reality, the Forbes list of celebrities provides a rather narrow American view of celebrity. The criteria for making this list include earnings levels, the number of press clippings, TV and radio appearances, front magazine covers, and, of course, Internet Web hits. While we can

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Popular culture today is indeed taken up with the eternallyworthless distractions of “amusement” and “celebrities.” The topics of Truth, eternity, and the knowledge of the Lord have taken a distant backseat.

conclude that fame today has very little to do with the greater world good, intelligence or, in fact, any real talent, it also embraces a much wider phenomenon than just entertainment. Fame is simply to be known by many people, whether for good, bad, virtuous or immoral deeds. In fact, to be infamous is to be famous. Anything is acceptable as long as it achieves the “15 minutes of fame” popularized by Andy Warhol’s statement in the 1960s, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Today, the vain hope of countless millions is that the god of ephemeral celebrity—though entirely capricious and brutal—will cast his favor upon them. Perhaps an uploaded YouTube video could go “viral” (attracting the attentions of millions of people as with Justin Bieber). Popular culture today is indeed taken up with the eternally-worthless distractions of “amusement” and “celebrities.” The topics of Truth, eternity, and the knowledge of the Lord have taken a distant backseat.

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ple, the first mass-audience newspaper launched in 1833, the New York Sun. Its innovation was to sell advertising, thereby reducing the cost of the newspaper and making it affordable for a wider audience. Now, the “ears and eyes” of a greater audience could feed the rise of great “fame.” According to a study published by the University of Warwick, the modern “cult of celebrity” can be traced back further to 18th century Britain. Then, a massive increase in the number of newspapers gave rise to the public persona, whether in life or death. Actually, this began with the popularization of the obituary. Quoting Dr. Elizabeth Barry, the author of the study, “The big change was the founding of The Gentleman’s Magazine, which was a secular publication, and from the 1730s onward it starts publishing obituaries of a really wide section of society.” For instance, the magazine would print obituaries of actresses and eccentrics who were then famous as much for their questionable private lives as for their public lives. As such, people from all walks of life could now become famous. This also began an era where criminals started to be famous. Global Power of Fame and Celebrity Just as money systems are being centralized worldwide today as never before, and wealth is falling into the clutches of an ever smaller circle, so is celebrity. It also has become a global phenomenon. An ever smaller number of people attract the mass attention of the world; and celebrity itself is becoming more concentrated. But a world without Biblical values is likely to give its affections and adoration

Just as money systems are being centralized worldwide today as never before, and wealth is falling into the clutches of an ever smaller circle, so is celebrity. It also has become a global phenomenon. An ever smaller number of people attract the mass attention of the world; and celebrity itself is becoming more concentrated.

Quest for Fleeting Immortality The wide influence of “celebrity” and “fame” today is a mark of our era. While since the dawn of history, some people will have been more famous than others, “fame” and “celebrity” was never the prime object of titillation and business that it is today. In times past, people would become famous (and or feared) by virtue of their noteworthy deeds. The Bible frequently uses the term “fame” in describing various people mentioned in the Old Testament. For example, “So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land” (Joshua 6:27). We read of Solomon that “his fame spread to all the surrounding nations” (1 Kings 4:31). Also, “[…] David’s fame spread throughout every land, and the LORD made all the nations fear him” (1 Chronicles 14:17). Of course, were there no humans, there could be no celebrity nor fame. It is partly the phenomenon of being known by many people that creates celebrity. And to that end, modern technology has enabled its increase. Today, following the invention of photography, and through the means of many new media and communications platforms, people can become famous overnight. Some theorize that this all started with the spread of newspapers … for exam20
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Age of Celebrity: Eternity Abandoned for Fleeting Immortality
to “celebrities” of an undeserving variety. The Bible is much more selective as to who is deserving of “glory.” After all, there is no direct correlation between celebrity and the merits of righteous fame and glory. Never does the Bible extol “fame” as an objective. Fame is only a state and not an assessment of character or righteousness. The world, on the other hand, tends to presume that if someone is famous, that this alone is sufficient affirmation of their worthiness. If anything, the Bible teaches us to be motivated by something other than fame. Rather than being oriented to the approval of humanity, we are to look to God. Paul illustrated this perspective, saying, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10). No, in whatever we do, we do it not for the approval of the masses. In “[…] whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). Thoughts to Ponder Fame is treacherous for more than one reason. In the Old Testament, we learn how Israel misused its fame. “But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his” (Ezekiel 16:15). The Bible speaks of a world in the last days that is smitten with self-love and fame. Says Paul. “[…] in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful […], conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-2, 4). That the world would come to such a point of delusion that it would refuse to recognize the one and only true God— the Creator of All—to instead worship the Antichrist (the vessel of the Devil himself) is an indication of its perversions with respect to fame and worship. Says the Bible, “And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, everyone whose name has not been recorded in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8, AMP). Aldous Huxley foresaw just how such lunacy could come about, saying, “Assemble a mob of men and women previously conditioned by a daily reading of newspapers; treat them to amplified band music, bright lights .. and in next to no time you can reduce them to a state of almost mindless sub-humanity. Never before have so few been in a position to make fools, maniacs, or criminals of so many” (The Devils of Loudun, 1952). It is God alone that is deserving of fame. In fact, God seeks to make a name for himself. “And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?” (2 Samuel 7:23; see also 1 Chronicles 17:21, Ezekiel 39:7). “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done” (Psalm 105:1). The day will yet come when the entire world will acknowledge that: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12). MC

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That the world would come to such a point of delusion that it would refuse to recognize the one and only true God—the Creator of All—to instead worship the Antichrist (the vessel of the Devil himself) is an indication of its perversions with respect to fame and worship.

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World Conspiracy in Light of the Bible
Johannes Pflaum

– PART IX

What does the Bible say about world conspiracy theories? Do they belong to the prophetic Word? In this series, we look this and other connected questions. Read here Part 9.

I

n recent years, it has become more and more clear to me that one of the things that is most underestimated in religious circles is the evil, sinful, human heart. This does not just apply to liberal evangelicalism. Even in Bible-believing churches, people do not want to acknowledge how abysmally evil our sinful nature is. All manner of other explanations are found, therefore, or dark powers made responsible for the sinful behavior of individuals. The conspiracy theories are also ultimately based on a humanistic worldview. It cannot be that the sin in mankind has so matured, and that the evil human heart is so corrupt, that all these terrible developments on this earth are taking place. It cannot be that the world population in itself is so evil and godless that the result of this will be the appearing of the Antichrist. For this reason, some kind of evil powers and secret brotherhoods have
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to be behind it, which are deceiving an unsuspecting and harmless humanity. In the end, sin, lawlessness and apostasy will come to maturity. Through this the Antichristian spirit, which always existed in a fallen world, will have free rein (1 John 2:18). From a Biblical point of view, this “away from God movement” of the world population, together with the opening up to dark powers, is completely sufficient to pave the way for the appearing of the Antichrist. Notice how Paul characterizes the people of the end times in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. This text does not speak of a secret brotherhood or leader, but of men being mainly responsible and the prime culprits for the spread of sin and the invasion of darkness connected with this. People will be lovers of money, among other things. Man has always been like this. But particularly in the end times this is a characteristic, and

World Conspiracy in Light of the Bible – Part IX

Our whole economic system is built on greed. The brokers in the banks earn money from their wild bonds and speculative dealings. The normal citizen is no longer satisfied with small interest but wants continually higher interest and returns in order to increase his capital.

not just of banks or industrial corporations. Of course the banks, the billionaires and the business corporations are continually attempting to increase their riches and their economic power at the cost of others. But it is overlooked that our whole economic system is built on greed. The brokers in the banks earn money from their wild bonds and speculative dealings. The normal citizen is no longer satisfied with small interest but wants continually higher interest and returns in order to increase his capital. Therefore, the love of money and the striving of the individual connected with this are enough to bring about a crash in the stock market. There is no need of a secret brotherhood in the background, even if we cannot ultimately rule out the fact that certain groups are seeking to realize their interests through this. A former investment banker reported how new fantasy products for bonds were continually being developed simply to increase their commission. With the economic crisis, what our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:19ff. on the apparent security of money and treasures is being proven true. Perhaps we, as the Church of Jesus Christ, should start to rethink this instead of seeking the blame with some kind of alleged makers of a world conspiracy. From the Bible, we only know that sin will mature in the end. The sinful man, who distances himself further and further from God, is enough to trigger off the last developments from God’s viewpoint. Even if the book Superclass by David Rothkopf, like all the other books on this subject, is to be taken with a pinch of salt, that which he writes is far closer to what the Bible says about the people of the end times as such than all the conspiracy theories. The “superclass” attempts to take advantage of all possible unions in the first place for contacts and for personal gain. The Bilderbergers and the Economic Forum of Davos may philosophize on a

united world, but we must not overlook this inner division and the egoism of the individual in such unions. A united striking force and direction of purpose can hardly be spoken of. May I remind you of how in the West the political parties are sinking deeper and deeper in internal battles for power and the ambitions of individual politicians. This is in accordance with the profile of the end-times man in the Bible. The Freemasons suffer from this as well, according to David Rothkopf, but also, according to the ex-Grand Master Burkhardt Gorissen, from over-aging and a decline in new recruits. There is immense danger connected with the conspiracy theories and the fascination with them. Through this a kind of modern gnosis is formed, a higher science by some insiders who possess the true knowledge and background information which the normal man does not have access to. Tragically, this higher knowledge about real world events comes not from the Word of God, but to a great extent from questionable sources. Here also the words of Colossians 2:8 apply, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Moreover, we should not think that we need to understand all the background of evil. It is enough to see with open eyes how sin is maturing and deception increasing. Besides the call to repentance to Thyatira, the Lord encourages a group in the church there with the following words, “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden” (Revelation 2:24). Christ expressly praises here those who have not known the depths of Satan. They are such people who do not think they have to fathom all the abysses of (MR1011/476) evil and sin.
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PART III
By NORBERT LIETH

In his first letter of Paul to Timothy, the apostle Paul tells him “…how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Read here Part 3.

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n verses 3 to 11 of 1 Timothy 1, Paul took his stand regarding false doctrines. Now he comes to the testimony of the true Gospel, how God saves through grace (verses 12-17). He puts grace before the works of the law. He, the former Pharisee, had found grace, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (verse 12). He showed through his testimony that the most sincere efforts of a devout Jew cannot save him, but God can use them to lead him to mercy, “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (verse 13). This was no excuse for his bad deeds, but an example of how earnestly God takes the sincere person. Paul used his testimony further to show the magnitude of the Lord’s grace, “And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (verse 14). He encouraged others therefore to believe in the Gospel, as the promises of the Lord are absolutely reliable, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation…” (verse 15).
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Paul also used his testimony to show that there is no case that is hopeless, “…that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (verses 15-16). When the apostle calls himself the chief of all sinners, this means that nobody can be excluded from the kingdom of God, because nobody is a greater sinner than Paul. It is interesting that the conversion of Paul was connected with the prayer of Stephen, which had taken place soon before. “And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samariah, except the apos-

“And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.”
alone whether a matter is Biblical or not. And there can be only one answer to this. It is absolutely Biblical and therefore a blessing and a help to give a testimony. And apparently, it belongs to the church life. Paul gave his testimony very often and on many different occasions (at least six times in the Bible), of his life and the working of the Lord in him (in Acts 22:3-16, 19-21, 26:9-18, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, 1 Corinthians 15:9-11, Galatians 1:13-16, 21-24 and Philippians 3:5-8). In addition to this, he repeatedly spoke of the blessing and the fruit that the Lord had given to his and the ministry of others, “And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Acts 14:26-27, cf. also Acts 15:3-4, 12 and 21:17-19). Paul said, “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed” (Romans 15:18). The impressive thing is that there was no pride in Paul, and no envy or jealousy in those who heard him. His testimonies were worked by the Holy Spirit, served to glorify Jesus Christ, and show us how it should be in the church now. Of course, the danger of pride is there. But there is also an almost unnatural reluctance and false modesty, or even a false humility because people feel so important. Those who think they could be the focus of attention, have already calculated accordingly and do not have the Lord alone before their eyes. Those who know that they themselves are nothing and the Lord is everything, and that their testimony serves the honor of the Lord alone, can by all means give their testimony, and should. In this connection, it is worth mentioning that the apostle in his younger years (Acts 22), as well as in his old age (Acts 26), a few years before his death, still gave the same testimony.
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tles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committing them to prison” (Acts 7:58–8:3). One of those who consented to the stoning of Stephen and was a key figure in the persecution of Christians was saved, not least on account of Stephen’s prayer. Paul used his testimony to the praise of God, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever, Amen” in 1 Timothy 1:17. Ultimately, these words emphasize the divine nature of Jesus (cf. 6:15). Paul portrays God as the eternal King; the title of King is generally used, however, for the Lord Jesus. Therefore, He is also God. Pilate recognized Jesus as King (John 19:14-15, 19-21). The Jews understood Jesus’ claim to royalty (John 19:12). And the Revelation describes Jesus as King of kings (Revelation 17:14 and 19:16). Usually, there is not much call for testimonies among Christians. We believe—rightly or wrongly— that they put people in the foreground, or that other Christians, who have not experienced such a past and conversion as the one giving the testimony, could be discouraged by this. Or we are afraid that the one giving the testimony could become proud. Personally, I have often had the experience that testimonies are very profitable. The question that should rule us is not the question of dangers, personal ideas, interpretations or imaginations, but

MARCH 2012

25

NETHERLANDS

CHINA

Single-Molecule Car?
Its wheels are comprised of a few atoms each; its motor, a mere jolt of electricity. Scientists in the Netherlands have introduced the world’s smallest car—and it’s only a single molecule long.
It’s certainly no Porsche, but scientists L at the University of Groningen in the

The Communist’s Love for Luxury
The top premium brand in China, Audi set a new monthly record in November as it sold nearly 30,000 cars, a 70 percent leap from a year ago.

Netherlands are still excited about their latest achievement: creating a “car” that’s only a billionth of a meter long. The nanometer-sized vehicle, introduced in the British journal Nature, is comprised of a miniscule frame with four rotary units, each no wider than a few atoms. In fact, the whole construction is 60,000 times thinner than a human hair, according to the AFP news agency. The research team was able to propel the nanocar six billionths of a meter by firing electrons at it with a tunneling electron microscope. The “electronic and vibrational excitation” of the jolts changes the way the atoms of the “wheels” interact with those on a copper surface, the report says, propelling the car forward in a single direction. The only problem, it would seem, is getting all the wheels to turn in the same direction every time. It might be tough to imagine the use of such a diminutive roadster. But nanotechnology is widely considered one of the most exciting fields of the 21st century, and the researchers view their design as “a starting point for the exploration of more sophisticated molecular mechanical systems with directionally controlled motion.”
-spiegel.de, 10 November 2011

Locally produced Audi models all regisL tered strong sales—8,446 A4 L cars,

Scientists in the Netherlands have introduced a molecule-sized car. Legroom might be an issue.

No human eye can see nor fully comprehend the miracle of creation. Whenever scientists discover something new and sensational, it is only until the next discovery leaves the previous ones in the shadows.

When looking in the opposite direction— space—then there too we must admit that all of our technology has not even scratched the surface of the vastness of infinite space. What unites all these scientists is their endeavor to find an alternative answer to the first ten words in Scripture, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). As believers in Christ, we can grasp many things through the Spirit, but the goal will always be Jesus Christ. Ephesians 3:18-19 has this to say, “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the ful4280 ness of God.”
(For more on Creation, read Cosmos, Creator, and Human Destiny, Item 2251, $30.)

9,783 A6 L cars and 5,785 Q5 SUVs were sold. At the same time imported Audis reported blistering growth of nearly 200 percent with more than 5,574 cars delivered in November. The carmaker’s sales in the first 11 months increased 35 percent year-on-year to more than 280,000 vehicles as its tally for the whole year appears certain to clear the 300,000 benchmark. BMW’s November sales in China increased 7 percent to 19,155 units, bringing its deliveries in the first 11 months to more than 215,000 units, a surge of 41 percent. Its products on sale in China included the locally produced 3 Series and 5 Series sedans as well as a wide imported lineup. Sales by Mercedes-Benz increased 24 percent in China to more than 18,000 vehicles. The fastest-growing market worldwide for the carmaker this year, its total China sales between January and November rose 31 percent to more than 170,000 units. A Bloomberg report said that the world’s three biggest luxury carmakers plan to limit holiday breaks for the second consecutive year to meet the rising demand for luxury vehicles in China. BMW and Mercedes-Benz will shut most of their European factories for just a week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, while Audi will close its plants for two weeks. In 2009,
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Luxury
BRAZIL

(continued from page 26)

Cover Up or Religious Discrimination?
Lying in a pentagram is Rosa Cardoso, a woman that has practiced the Afro-Brazilian religion of Umbanda most her life and, according to the Associated Press (AP), has been “hiding her faith from the rest of the world.”
“Century-old Afro-Brazilian religion under L threat,” the AP report by Juliana Bar-

bassa, makes no mention of animal sacrifices, a practice not uncommon in the Afro-Brazilian religions. And, because her article obviously intended to portray Umbanda in a positive light as a threatened, poor religion, this omission was necessary. I grew up seeing in the Brazilian crossroads of my neighborhood offerings to the African spirits. These offerings comprised fruits, food, alcohol beverages, cigarettes and sacrificed animals such as goats. Interestingly, the English version of Wikipedia has also no mention of animal sacrifices in its entry on Umbanda. Its Portuguese version makes a mere passing mention, saying that these sacrifices are practiced only by some Umbanda ramifications. Yet, the AP worry was the “intolerance and outright hostility against Umbanda, as well as Brazil’s other major African-descended religion Candomble.” AP reports that Rosa “Cardoso said she’s learned not to let down her guard when it comes to protecting herself from religious scorn. This country of 190 million remains predominantly Roman Catholic.” While Catholic and Protestant traditions have increasingly been banned from schools and other government places because the State is “secular,” Afro-Brazilian religions and their practices are making inroads, with state assistance, into schools and other places, in a privileged way. Becaause Christianity is religion, and Afro-Brazilian religions are “culture.”
-freerepublic.com, 12 December 2011

Demand for luxury brands is outstripping overall growth in China's car market. [Photo/China Daily] Umbanda house of worship

That animals are sacrificed during Umbanda services is a well-established fact. Virtually all of Midnight Call’s missionaries in Brazil can attest to that. But in today’s multicultural society, multi-religious

practices, although against the law, are condoned and even furthered by the government under the label of “religious culture.” Any opposition would be labeled discrimination. Because it is considered a minority practice, the Umbanda religion will enjoy the protection of the law. We need to point out that this is not limited to Brazil; thousands of other cases around the world discriminate against Christianity. Yet it will not affect the true Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This means the Church will be built, completed, and raptured into His presence when the last one from among the Gentiles has been added. It is important, therefore, that every Christian, born of His Spirit, draws closer to the Lord and thereby permits His light to shine in dark places, so many who are still in this deep bondage of darkness can come 4257 to the light.
(For more on the Christian walk, we recommend Spiritual Strength for Each Day, Item 1062, $16.95.)

all three carmakers took a three-week yearend break due to sagging sales, the report said.
-usa.chinadaily.com.cn, 12 December 2011

While communist China is still distantly removed from the European world (the West) when it comes to standard of living, they are definitely catching up fast. The Germans, with their most expensive labor force in the world, seem to be harvesting the reward for true craftsmanship built by well-organized and compensated labor. This article is significant, particularly for the United States where the key issue has become JOBS, but attention should be focused on high quality products. As often mentioned in this column, rich communist China is climbing the ladder of success in order to reach the level of the European world. That too is part of the uninterrupted progress toward true globalism. 4258
(For more on endtime economics, read Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied, Item 1068, $14.95.)

MARCH 2012

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L AT V I A

A Lesson of Painful Austerity for Greece
Latvia’s lesson for Greece is that harsh austerity is unavoidable to remedy years of over-indulgence but the vast social differences between the two countries suggest it may be lost on ordinary Greeks.

Though Latvia is a poster child of austerity for Greece, the two countries are very different places, in terms of history and political culture. Despite some of the harshest public sector pay cuts enacted in Europe, Latvia had one riot, in January 2009, and some peaceful demonstrations. Until the mid-1970s Greece posted healthy growth on its own. After 1981, when the country joined the then-European Community, growth was supported by billions of euros of EU aid, compounded by a credit-fueled boom since it joined the euro zone. Greeks are going through their longest postwar recession, with GDP expected to shrink for a fourth consecutive year in 2012, which is hard for people to stomach given that the cutting back has only just begun.
-reuters.com, 23 September 2011

Rome The final Gentile superpower is Rome, which monopolized Europe. Europe and its culture will continue to be the dominant factor for the whole world. What’s happened to Europe seems decisive for the East: China, India, Japan, as well as the 4281 West: America, Canada, Brazil, etc.
What will be the outcome? The creation of a more even political and economic playing field. We suggest reading

Democracy Invades Islam, giving details

rarely published (Item 1072, $12.95).

A man (R) passes by as a worker cleans a shop window in Riga August 8, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Ints Kalnins

Latvians, having suffered two years of a L strict diet under IMF/EU orders, can attest to plenty of pain which was largely accepted with stoicism. With people starting to see the economy being brought back to health, they can now see the gain too. In Greece, outrage among a public more used to the good life is already at fever pitch, testing the government’s ability to push through the stringent measures it needs to cut a mountainous debt and avoid default. “Currently, it seems that all parties have agreed to the principle that Latvia’s economic stabilization program should be continued and the international loan program should be finished,” current Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis told Reuters during coalition talks after the election. Latvia suffered the deepest recession in the European Union in 2009, when the economy nose-dived 18 percent. The government had to take a hatchet to the budget in return for a 7.5 billion euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund and EU.

Latvia learned well: they overspent, and the citizens at large were willing to pay the price. Will it be applicable to Greece? As this article indicates and as reports show, the answer is no. Greece got spoiled when they became the recipients of European aid; now to implement austerity is extremely difficult. From a prophetic point of view, we see the four biblically mentioned Gentile superpowers being the target of attention for the world: Babylon The country today called Iraq has been a center of attention for more than two decades. Few experts believe that Iraq will become a viable democratic nation in the near future. Persia Today’s Iran is the target of the entire world because of their nuclear program, which the West assumes is for producing weapons. Has the conflict ended or is this just a beginning? No one really knows. Greece This is the third Gentile superpower and is mentioned virtually daily in the news media. The conflict is over money.

USA

From Babel to Babylon

L ship, but your business partner is using
You are looking at a new business relation-

The single largest problem facing your organization is integration. How are you going to handle it?

software with which you can’t integrate. You just acquired a new company, and their software can’t talk to your software. Even your existing applications don’t talk to each other. This is the situation in IT today. Tomorrow, everything will be different. A deceptively simple standard, Extensible Markup Language (XML), is turning the way we build and use software inside out. XML Web services are a component model for application development—a model that assumes integration is a central part of the development process. Coupled with technologies introduced by the internet, XML is demolishing the integration Tower of Babel, and creating a Babylon of XML Web services. With the availability of XML Web services, companies now have the opportunity to transform the internet into a true platform for integrating and delivering their core business value.
-Microsoft
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VAT I C A N

Support for a New World Economic Order
The Vatican called for radical reform of the world’s financial systems, including the creation of a global political authority to manage the economy.
A proposal by the L Pontifical Council for

Justice and Peace calls for a new world economic order based on ethics and the “achievement of a universal common good.” It follows Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 economic encyclical that denounced a profit-at-all-cost mentality as responsible for the global financial meltdown. The proposal acknowledges, however, that a “long road still needs to be traveled before arriving at the creation of a public authority with universal jurisdiction” and suggests the reform process begin with the United Nations as a point of reference. Vatican pronouncements on the economy are meant to guide world leaders as well as the global church. United States Roman The previous article is part of an advertising booklet produced by Microsoft. In large, bold letters on the inside of the cover, we read, “From Babel to Babylon.” The world’s leading software technology firm uses Biblical definitions to emphasize unity—with the word Babel and the ultimate rebellion against God, Babylon. From Genesis 11, we learn that “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” In verse 4, we read of the people’s democratic declaration, “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” We note that

Catholic bishops, for example, have released a voter guide for the 2012 election that highlights social concerns such as ending poverty. “It is an exercise of responsibility not only toward the current but above all toward future generations, so that hope for a better future and confidence in human dignity and capacity for good may never be extinguished,” the document said. It highlights that reforms must assure that financial and monetary policies will not damage the weakest economies while also achieving fair distribution of the world’s wealth. The proposal also called for a “minimum, shared body of rules to manage the global financial market,” lamenting the “overall abrogation of controls” on capital movements. While past Vatican pronouncements have condemned unfettered capitalism, the latest criticized “an economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls.”
-www.foxnews.com, 24 October 2011

the Vatican, but also the rest of the world. Everyone wants peace, prosperity, and security, but the problem is everyone wants it on their own terms; subsequently, controversy and division follows, often ending in war. Nevertheless, the tendency is clear: continuous progress toward a united world. The nations are progressively becoming one, guided by the world’s most powerful force—finance. It stands to reason that under a “universal jurisdiction,” problem places such as North Korea, Iran, and others could be dealt with quickly and effectively. Will it come to that point? According to the prophetic Word, the answer is yes. The world will become one; all people of the earth will worship the image of the beast, and planet Earth will finally have achieved peace, prosperity, and security for all, albeit only temporarily. 4283
(For more on this subject, read One World, Item 2203, $15.99.)

A “public authority with universal jurisdiction” is a target not only expressed by God instructed man, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” The people of Babel did not want to be “scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” That’s when God intervened supernaturally. From that point on, mankind was divided and separated by multiple languages. Doubtless, lack of communication was a contributing factor of innumerable wars fought throughout the ages. But now in the end stages of the end time, man is again trying to communicate in one “language”— this time through technology, with the aim to recreate a planetary unity: Babylon. The epitome of this Babylon is defined in Revelation 17:5, “And upon her forehead was a

Babylon

(continued from page 28)

name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” What does this Babylonian system do? Create a truly global world, “…for thy merchants were the great men of the earth for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” (Revela4261 tion 18:23).
(For more on man’s rebellion against God, read How Democracy Will Elect the Antichrist, Item 1064.)

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WORLD

UN Wants Better Life for World’s 7 Billion People
Instead of worrying about sheer numbers when the world’s population hits 7 billion, we should think about how to make the planet a better place for people to live in, the United Nations said in a report.

while developing countries are buying up land in Africa to offset any future shortages at home.
-www.reuters.com, 26 October 2011

“It is both about consumption and L population,” the U.N.’s Population

Fund Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said at a media conference to launch the report, referring to people’s impact on the environment and economic growth. While growing populations could be a drain on the world’s resources, the U.N.’s Population Fund’s “The State of World Population 2011” said a contributing factor was overconsumption by the existing population. “With planning and the right investments in people now, to empower them to make choices that are not only good for themselves ... our world of 7 billion can have thriving sustainable cities, productive labor forces that fuel economies, and youth populations that contribute to the well-being of their societies,” Osotimehin said in the report. It was vital to engage with the world’s youth and to harness their entrepreneurial skills to boost economies and prevent potential alienation, the report said. Those under the age of 25 make up 43 percent of the population, and as much as 60 percent in some countries, and this group must be educated and trained if countries are to have a dynamic work force, it said. Failure to do so would see a loss of ideas, innovation as well as tax income. A major contributor to the recent Arab uprisings was a youth unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent, the report quoted the International Labor Organization as saying.

Indian children ride in a cart on the way home from school in the outskirts of New Delhi in this file picture taken, February 26, 2001. Credit: Reuters/Pawel Kopcznski/Files

In some of the richest countries, low fertility rates and too few people entering the job market have raised fears about the prospects for sustained economic growth and the viability of social security systems. Every country has a population that is aging to some degree. The global proportion of people over the age of 60 is expected to grow from 11 percent in 2009 to 22 percent in 2050. In Finland, which enjoys a high standard of living but where low fertility rates have led to a quarter of the population being over 60 years old, the emphasis is on excellent social services to make parenthood easier. A U.N. Secretary General report showed that $68 billion would be needed in 2011 if its program on sexual and reproductive health initiatives set out in Cairo in 1994 was to be met. Countries were expected to contribute $34 billion, with a further $10.8 billion coming from international and bilateral donors, leaving a shortfall of around $25 billion. Growing global interdependence meant governments had to work out how to deal with record populations if they were to avoid future competition for limited resources such as food and water. Reports already suggest a 40 percent global shortfall in water supply by 2030,

The world and its leaders try desperately to solve the many problems and potential chaos on their own terms. Will it work? The answer is yes, but we must add, only on the temporary basis. This will be done through implementation of global laws, which will climax in true global unity. But this process is not something new; it’s as old as humanity. We already saw it in the case reported about the building of the Tower of Babel. In the endtimes, however, the powers of darkness will take over. We read in Revelation 17:12-13, “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Who are the ten kings? They are demonic entities, rulers of darkness, under the authority of the god of this world. They are inciting the leaders of the world to act in accordance with their preconceived target. How do we know they are demonic entities? The next verse gives the answer, “These shall make war with the Lamb.” No physical, earthly identity can make war against the Lamb, because the Lamb is a heavenly, physical reality; thus we see, the powers of darkness are at work.
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(For more on the last days, read Revelation 13: Satan’s Last Victory, Item 1067, $11.95.)

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LE T TE R S TO TH E E DI TOR

*

Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Midnight Call, P.O. Box 280008, Columbia, SC 29228. Include full name, address, and daytime phone number. Without name and address, letters will be discarded unread. All material is subject to editing. Midnight Call assumes all publishing rights on letters sent to the Editor. Note: All letters will be answered by the Executive Editor, Arno Froese.

The Missing 45 Days... Evangelizing the Church... Keeping the Law

The Missing 45 Days Letters to the Editor, The previous question concerning the difference between the 1335 days and the 1290 days (Daniel 12) is this: the 45 days are NOT missing but are the last and most intense days of the Great Tribulation. It probably is when Antichrist enforces the 666 mark upon the Jews. Blessed is he who has the faith to keep waiting through it (Daniel 12:12). It is not a rapture escape (like Titus 2:13). The one who endures by faith to the end of the Great Tribulation will be saved (Matthew 24:13). It is a test of faith, even if they must lose their life! How blessed is he who keeps waiting and reaches day 1335. This is

much more than a trivia question as you regarded it. Antichrist requires that no one should be able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark 666 on them (Revelation 13:17). How many Christians would put their life on the line?
-C. Calef, CT

Answer: We read in Revelation 13:14-18 about the mark of the beast; it’s addressed to “them that dwell on the earth.” That means global; thus, I see no evidence that the Antichrist will enforce the 666 mark upon the Jews. My understanding is that the whole world will gladly and wholeheartedly “receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.” They will receive it; that means they want it. Note also that the Antichrist is enthusiastically welMARCH 2012 31

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made to question their own salvation, they are afraid to share their faith with others. The very term “altar call” irritates me. The altar was for the old covenant, before Christ died and an animal was sacrificed for sin. We have no more need of an “altar,” praise God! Many times preachers use worldly and deceptive tactics to “trick” people into raising their hand for “prayer”; then if they raise their hand, he tells them that “if” they raised their hand, they must come up to the “altar” to receive Christ. This is horrible, and it is a way of trying to “manipulate” the Holy Spirit! No wonder people don’t want to go to church. Church should not be turned into an evangelistic service.
-J. Demmy, PA

comed in verses 3-4 of chapter 13. Actually, in verse 8 it says, “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.” Matthew 24:13 does not relate to the Rapture, but to the Jewish people in Israel. Note verse 31; it speaks of the supernatural gathering of the remnant of the Jews back to the land of Israel. We must distinguish between 1 Thessalonians 4, which speaks of the Rapture, “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven,” and Matthew 24:31, “He shall send his angels.” These are two different events, not related to one another.

struction, “Feed my lambs…Feed my sheep.” That is the task of the pastor. Luther translates this, “lead my sheep to the pasture.” This reminds us of Psalm 23, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” When we open the Bible, we are passing on the Word of God; we are leading His sheep (they are not ours) to His pasture. There, the sheep may graze and eat as they please. Leading the flock to green pastures becomes a pleasant and satisfying task.

Evangelizing the Church Dear Midnight Call, It was so refreshing to hear a Christian ministry admit that many churches think they have to “evangelize” people during the church service! I am referring to the “Pastoral Letter” article in the November issue of Midnight Call. The “church” services should be geared to teaching and encouraging believers! The church is believers! I get very angry when I attend a church service, and the preacher spends most of the time trying to “evangelize” the congregation, and any visitors that they “assume” are not saved! This usually ends with an “altar call,” where he puts doubt in the minds of true believers, thus making them question their own salvation! He should be teaching the church how to witness to friends and relatives, or people they work with! If believers are always
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Answer: You should not get angry at pastors who evangelize. Granted, some should be evangelists instead of pastors, but that should not upset you. Whenever the Word of God is open, it is a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, we often fail to follow the clear instruction of our Lord. While we are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel, we are also guaranteed that Jesus will build His Church. It is His responsibility. All we are to do is follow His command. Yet when we are done, Jesus said, “Say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). It is helpful to read the dialogue between the Lord and Peter in John 21. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” and then gives the in-

Keeping the Law Dear Mr. Froese, God’s Word takes issue with you concerning your answer to J. Drnec in the November issue of Midnight Call about the seventh day Sabbath (The first thing God made holy). You say “the entire law is nailed to the cross.” If that were true then there wouldn’t be any such thing as sin. This would mean we can lie, cheat, steal, and murder with no punishment. However, you know the answer you gave is from Satan. God says, “anyone who sins breaks the law” (1 John 3:4). Our dear Savior has this message for you. Read Matthew 5:17-20. The only things nailed to the cross were forgiveness of sin and the sacrificial law.
-K. Crooks, PA

Answer: Here is what the Bible says, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days” (Colossians 2:16). Galatians 3:13 states, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the

MIDNIGHT CALL

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
ing your wastebasket on the subject. Here’s another to drop in. I’ve always heard that the original manuscripts, or scriptures from which our Bibles are translated, used no punctuation marks. If true, then that comma used in Mark 16:9, if placed after the word “risen,” would change the meaning of the sentence somewhat. “Now when Jesus was risen, early on the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary.” That would also make it go along better with the narrative that he was ALREADY GONE from the grave very early in the morning, when the women came looking for Him. So no one really knows the exact moment He arose. But a Wednesday crucifixion gives the three full days and nights, using the Jewish day, that He said He would be in the grave. Since the word Sabbath doesn’t always mean the 7th day of the week, but refers also to the annual Sabbaths, or Festivals, that can fall on any day of the week—and since John, in the NIV , mentions this as being a Preparation day for a Special Sabbath, there could have been two Sabbaths that week, the High Sabbath being on Thursday. Of course you are right, it’s really not all that important, compared to other things.
-L. Wray, MS

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law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:14). The Bible gives us liberty regarding holidays in Romans 14:5, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” You are failing to recognize that it is impossible to keep the law. Even if you offend in one, you have broken all (James 2:10). The new Law is infinitely higher than the old one. Jesus quotes the law in Matthew 5:27, and then says in verse 28, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Your very thoughts are condemned. Those who try to keep the law and think themselves to be secure, are suddenly confronted with the new Law of Christ which, as you will agree, is virtually impossible to keep—except through grace. Incidentally, the fact that you make such a statement, “You know the answer you gave is of Satan” points that you are on the wrong path. That road will lead to destruction, but the path of grace will lead to forgiveness, restoration, and a glorious eternity.

ment, but I find discussions about Scripture to be always beneficial. You wrote, “three full days and nights.” That reveals 72 hours, but Jesus said, “three days and three nights.” Therein lies the difference. Even if He died at the last second of Friday, it would count as “one night and one day” because that day and night was violated. For example, if we break one law, we are guilty of all laws, says James 2:10. We must keep the biblical measuring system in mind. We all agree that He was crucified the day before Sabbath, but if the Sabbath is not the Sabbath, then we are getting into a real conflict. Also, the Bible makes it crystal clear that He arose on the first day (Sunday). Using the 72 hour analysis, we get into another conflict; namely, that means His death should have occurred very early in the morning of Thursday. Let’s do the reverse math: from early Sunday morning to early Saturday morning would be the first night and day; from Saturday to early Friday morning would be the second day; and from Friday to early Thursday would be the third day, according to the 72 hour example. That, however, contradicts Scripture, for His death is recorded after the “ninth hour.”

Good Friday Dear Bro. Froese, Thank you for answering my letter concerning the crucifixion time. I’m sure by now that you have letters overflow-

Answer: The Friday Crucifixion has been a cause for much disagree-

Antichrist in Daniel Dear Mr. Froese: This letter is in response to your answer to the letter from D. Christ, PA, which you published in the November 2011 issue of Midnight Call. In your answer, you stated that Daniel 11:30 was referring to the Antichrist having indignation
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entities. That’s one reason I do not accept that this is a prophecy about Antiochus Epiphanes, although he may well be a pre-fulfillment of that which is to come. In verse 21, we read for the last time the words, “in his estate.” That obviously is the final world leader. Interestingly, he is being placed in authority because he comes in “peaceably” and with “flatteries.” That indeed is democracy in action. Incidentally, we now see democracy invading the Islamic world, and they are not done yet.

against the holy covenant. It is my understanding that most Christian scholars don’t think that the activities of the Antichrist are described in chapter 11 of Daniel until you get to verse 36. Such scholars believe that the activities of the Seleucid and Ptolemy empires of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries B.C. are described in verses 6 thru 35, with the activities of the Seleucid emperor Antiochus Epiphanes highlighted in verses 21 thru 35. Evidently, you think that the Antichrist is first referred to (in chapter 11) in some verse before verse 36— in verse 30 or in some verse before verse 30. I am curious; which verses in chapter 11 do you think refer to the Antichrist? By the way, I have heard the prophecy scholar Dr. Jack Van Impe, on Christian television, indicate (on more than one program) that verse 21 refers to the Antichrist. I also think that the activities of the Antichrist are described starting in verse 21.
-D. Toney, IN

When Jesus was on earth, His ministry was healing, teaching, and preaching. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” I have heard testimonies from people who have experienced divine healing. I believe if our faith was stronger, there would be more divine healing. What is your response to this?
-P. Grothe, WI

Answer: Daniel 11 is part of the fourth vision, which started in chapter 10. We note that he mentions names—Cyrus, King of Persia, then “the prince of Grecia,” and he begins chapter 11 with “Darius the Mede.” From that point on, no names are given; thus, Daniel moves into the spiritual world, speaking of the King of the South and the King of the North. Who are they? They have no names, so I believe they are demonic

Healing Ministry Dear Friend, I am writing to you in response to your article, “Does the Church Have a Healing Mandate?” I have a little booklet entitled, “Promises for Your Healing from Every Book in the Bible” from the Benny Hinn Ministries. For example, Jeremiah 17:14 says, “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed. Save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” Another reference is Exodus 15:26, “For I am the Lord who heals you.” Psalm 103:2-3, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases.” Also, Psalm 30:2, “O Lord my God, I cried out to you, and you have healed me.” First Corinthians 12:9, “To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit.”

Answer: We, as believers, thank the Lord always for all things. We praise God when medicine works, or a surgery heals quickly, and bones are mended properly. That is a given. I also agree with your quotation of Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” That’s true, but the Church is not the same. In Ephesians 2, the last three verses speak of the Church being built upon the apostles and prophets—with Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. But there is a distinct difference between the “foundation” and the “roof.” During the building of the foundation, sin resulted in instant capital punishment, according to Acts 5. Today, we may sing “All to Jesus I Surrender” but not mean it, and yet no one dies. In chapter 3, we read of a man crippled at birth, and he was healed. Yet in 2 Timothy 4:20, we read, “Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” Paul too was physically ill, but not healed. You see, the healings Jesus performed and those that took place during the foundation of the Church were signs, in particular to

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the Jews, to show fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Many claimed healings today are difficult to prove. Have you ever read of someone born without arms and legs being restored? That would be a genuine, physical miracle. Those things don’t happen, but doubtless can because nothing is impossible with God. However, we now live by faith; we love Him, although we do not see Him. We believe in Him. The article in question concerns itself primarily with unproven faith healings, which also occur among the pagans: the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, etc.

Conspiracy and Soul Sleep Dear Arno, I am a long standing subscriber of Midnight Call, and a reader of a number of your books. Before I get to the reason for this letter, I want to first thank you for your sincere and consistent dedication to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to His inerrant Word of God, and for your helpful insight as a prophetic voice for the end times. There are three items I’d like to broach with you: 1. In the article entitled “World Conspiracy in Light of the Bible,” the author wrote, “All of the world conspiracy theories are so irrelevant and unimportant in God’s eyes that He does not waste one word on them in His Word.” This was referring to two prophetic books (I believe the author must mean Daniel and Revela-

tion). There are other books that are prophetic, and I just want to point to Psalm 2:1-6. As I am not knowledgeable about the context of when this passage was written, and how it may apply to the article, I prefer to just offer it up for the author to consider and let the text speak for itself, and ask if you could comment. Along the same lines, it came to mind that, when Jesus was betrayed by Judas, that event was sort of a conspiracy between Judas and the religious authorities; it illustrated how God incorporates the deeds of Humankind into His Divine Plan. 2. The second item I’d like to share with you is this. I recently read in another magazine the statement, “The physical man is a mortal soul that can die.” That statement created cognitive dissonance in me, as I have always believed that our soul does not die, but merely goes to either Heaven or Hell for the rest of eternity. However, I searched the Scriptures to wrestle with this. In Proverbs 10:16, “The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death,” and of course, in Romans 6:23, it says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” My question is, how can a lost soul be both dead and eternally tormented in hell? In Matthew 10:28, it says, “Do not be afraid of those

who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” The only thing I can think of is my definition of alive needs to be changed. Is a soul being tormented in hell dead? 3. Last, knowing that we are Body, Soul, and Spirit, I have been trying to understand in depth, the differences between man’s Spirit and Soul. In some future article, it would be nice if you could speak to that. Thank you again for your dedication and your life work. God bless you, Brother Arno.
-F. Campagna, Jr., NJ

Answer: The conspiracy issue relates to the various organizations such as the Freemasons, Bilderbergers, Illuminati, etc., which are supposedly in charge of all economies and finance in the world in order to create a global society. That has some truth to it. After all, you and I could be considered part of this global conspiracy to create a truly unified world. How? By going to work, paying taxes, and purchasing things for ourselves; all that and more contributes to globalization. Thus, “the world conspiracy theories are…irrelevant” for Christians. Man consists of spirit, soul and body. The spirit concerns itself with the spiritual things. The soul leans toward the here and now, the flesh. That’s why the spirit and flesh are enemies (see Galatians 5:16-17). For the lost, “death” does not mean non-existence; rather, it will continue for all eternity. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” and suffer for all eternity. MC
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MIDNIGHT CALL

“…We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).
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hese words are powerful and comforting to every true servant of the Lord. We do experience tribulation and joy, persecution and freedom, tragedies and blessings; it’s all part of being a Christian. We have this glorious hope in earthen vessels, but our hope is undergirded by the love of God, which continues to give us the faith and courage to go forward in our calling as witnesses of Jesus Christ our Lord. In another place, the Apostle Paul reveals our dual position of being on earth in flesh and blood, and at the same time in the presence of His eternal glory, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). For those who preach an exclusively positive gospel, promising the listeners health, wealth, and happiness, the introductory verses hammer a devastating blow to this false teaching.

India
In this issue, we want to reintroduce the work of missionary John Ishmael, who is the director of Revival Literature Agency in India. Our relationship goes back about three decades, when we assisted his father, E. M. Ishmael, in his tireless endeavor to present the message of hope, the Gospel of salvation, to as many people in India as possible. What a blessing that his son has taken up that burden, continuing to do the work of the Gospel in his father’s place. Midnight Call’s Editor has visited India during many occasions and proclaimed the Gospel, emphasizing the prophetic Word throughout the land. We recognize that the most effective voices to lead the sheep to the green pasture are the native people; thus, John Ishmael has undertaken many conferences, crusades, and pastor training seminars, particularly emphasizing the words of the holy prophets. Here is some recent correspondence from Reverend Ishmael:

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Mission News
We are forced to make some changes in our mission work in the state of Orissa due to the situation in that region. The locals have been upset to see some Hindus giving up their religion and becoming Christians. The missionary has been told not to engage anymore in conversion work. He has been asked to stop all his missionary activities. Though he is forced to stop some of his outreach, he plans to continue to minister and to baptize people secretly by visiting them in their homes. The present situation also forces us to relocate the missionary to a new region in Orissa, or appoint another missionary in a different area, where he will be permitted to work with no interference from the local people. Please pray for the situation. The Bhutan missionary is very faithful to his calling of reaching the Sharecrop people group in Eastern Bhutan. Travel and communication within the region is very difficult, due to the high altitude of the mountains and lack of proper roads. Most people are not very responsive to the Gospel, and freedom to share the Gospel is limited. Due to these factors, the progress of the Gospel work is very slow in Bhutan. However, the missionary is faithful in doing his best to reach the people with the Gospel. Please pray for him, his ministry and for his family.

While special prayers are needed for the Orissa and Bhutan mission fields, we are excited because in two of our mission fields, we are planning baptism services. The candidates have given up their idol worship and celebration of Hindu festivals. They are now living a life pleasing to the Lord. The missionaries are confident the newborn believers will exhibit their testimony through their practical lives, and will be faithful to their newfound faith after they are baptized. Please pray for these believers, as they will witness for the Lord in the waters of baptism. Pray the Lord will keep away all hindrances, so the planned Gospel meeting and the baptism service will go smoothly. Thank you for taking time to read this letter. We value your prayers for our ministry. May the Lord bless you and keep you until we meet again. Revival Literature Fellowship is an independent, non-denominational Christian missionary organization, which receives subsidies from Midnight Call Ministries International. Support for Brother Ishmael may be sent to Midnight Call. Anyone wishing to contact Brother Ishmael may request it in correspondence. MC

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el

“And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible”
(Jeremiah 15:21).
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here are a great number of wonderful promises in Scripture, given to the people of Israel regarding their security and well-being. But we must add that horrendous judgment was threatened and executed upon the people of Israel before the fulfillment of these promises. For example, in verse 10, “Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.” These are the words of the prophet Jeremiah, speaking for the nation of Israel. We note, “a man of strife and…of contention to the whole earth.” These words were spoken about 600 years before Christ was born, and since that time, Israel has gone through terrible judgments, climaxing in the most horrific crime in human history—the Holocaust. Yet, it is never the end of Israel. When everything is settled down, it is the Lord, the God of Israel, who proclaims through the prophet Zephaniah, “At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the

earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD” (Zephaniah 3:20).

The Assaf Harofeh Hospital
For many decades, Midnight Call International has supported various benevolent projects throughout the land of Israel, concentrated in particular at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center located East of Tel Aviv. Midnight Call International has underwritten the construction of the Aliza Begin Memorial Hospital, the Wim Malgo Trauma Center, and a number of important projects for the benefit of the hospital, which serves Jews, Arabs, Christians, and immigrants. Our support is done in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, based on His Words in Matthew 25:40, “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” A Personal Word from Dr. Mordechai Waron, Chief Physician, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Retired Dear Friends, A hearty Shalom from Assaf Harofeh Hospital. Midnight Call International and Beth Shalom have been most significant friends of Israel. Particularly in view of the many decades of great friendship, we take this opportunity again to express our deep thanks for the wonderful help and support you have generously donated to this facility, and thereby, to all of Israel. Presently, Israel is experiencing a turbulent time as the government is confronted with many vital political questions relating to its very existence. Last year, we saw how the United Nations supported the recognition of a Palestine identity without consulting Israel—although the Palestinians, until this day, have not officially recognized the existence of a sovereign Jewish state. Until this very day, no declaration has been made to cease the now

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Assaf Harofeh Hospital Dr. Mordechai Waron

100-year-old violent conflict between the Arabs and the Jews. There was one glimmer of joy last year when Gilad Shalid was returned to his home after five years of illegal imprisonment by Hamas in Gaza. Quite naturally, Israel continues to live with the sense of insecurity. Additionally, Israel worries about the weakening of the West and the changes occurring in the Arab states. Many ask, what will happen in Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood takes over in the land of the Nile? No one really knows what will happen in the North, in Syria. Will fanatic radicals eventually be the dominating factor? Furthermore, what about Turkey? Are they inclined to support terrorist groups such as Hamas? But the greatest worry is the threat from Iran. Until this day, all the sanctions of the West have not attained the desired goal. In the meantime, their nuclear scientists are feverishly working to build weapons of mass destruction. Tension between Iran and the United States is growing. What will the West do? In general, they are silent so long as they are not directly involved. But the

threat continues to grow, and we realize the immediate danger our nation finds itself in. What would the world do if Israel is attacked by Iran? The option to destroy Iran’s nuclear facility, without the participation of the U.S.A. and other nations, will lead Israel into an even greater danger. Besides the massive military threat from Iran, Israel knows that Hezbollah in the North and Hamas in the South are now in possession of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles that could reach every corner of the State of Israel. It has become difficult to determine what the greatest danger for Israel is. All these worries lead us back to the eternal question, that moves us to seek help in a heavenly direction. Never before have we had greater need of this than today. Your prayers, your friendship, and your continuous support during these many decades are a cause for hope to awaken in our hearts—light that is needed in these insecure times. We are just incapable of thanking you enough for your faithfulness in standing with the nation of Israel. Our prayers are with you. May God bless you richly. -Dr. Mordechai Waron, MD

n rael

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2 0 1 2 AT L A N T I C COA S T P R O P H E C Y CO N G R E S S

When Light Meets Darkness
MIDNIGHT CALL

20-22 October 2012
Landmark Resort Hotel Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
“And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language” (Acts 2:6 ASV).

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Dr. Roger Liebi Dr. Elia Morise

he above Scripture testifies of the new creation, the birth of the Church of Jesus Christ. In this case, God interfered supernaturally to lift the curse of the tower of Babel and allowed each one present to hear the Gospel testimony in his own language. Further down we read the listing of sixteen difference countries, “Jews…out of every nation under heaven.” They received the Gospel message in their language. What was the reason for this miraculous demonstration? First, to show the Jews that the message from God is no longer directed exclusively to Israel; and secondly, that the whole world is included, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

PROPHECY CONGRESS
For more than a quarter of a century, we have held prophecy conferences in various places. Now, for the first time, it will be held under the banner International Prophecy Congress. “Conference” is not the most appropriate designation since we do not confer with the audience; rather, we present prepared messages to the audience. Therefore, Congress is a better choice (not to be confused with the Congress in Washington). The uniqueness of this Congress is also exhibited by the rostrum of international Bible scholars. For the first time, we will have two Israeli believers, Irit Iffert and Jael Kalisher. They will bless us with their exceptional musical talents, compassionately presenting Hebrew Scripture songs, along with traditional and modern Christian music. These two Israelis will contribute toward a greater understanding of Jewish culture during the Atlantic Coast International Prophecy Congress. Dr. Elia Morise, an Egyptian Arab, will be a highlight as he presents Scripture from Egyptian perspectives. Dr. Morise’s knowledge and experience relating to the witness to Muslims will definitely be a great benefit to the Church in America. Dr. Morise is the main Arab language speaker for Midnight Call’s Radio New Hope programs. From Switzerland comes Dr. Roger Liebi (Dipl. Mus., B.Th., M.Th., Th.D.). He has served in many of Midnight Call’s conferences and Congresses in Europe and Israel. Dr. Liebi is proficient in classical and modern Hebrew, as well as Aramaic and Greek. He has authored many works translated into various languages. From Germany, we have Norbert Lieth. He is a graduate of Midnight Call Bible School in Montevideo, Uruguay. He has served as Midnight Call’s missionary in several South American countries. Norbert Lieth is the lead speaker for Midnight Call Ministries throughout Europe. Wilfred Hahn comes from Canada. He is known for his writings and insights on present-day world economic and money trends, viewed from a Biblical perspective. He has global investment industry experience spanning three decades, having held various executive positions from Director of Research for a major Wall Street firm, to Chairman of Canada’s largest global investment group. Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries U.S.A. and editor-in-chief of the critically-acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News from Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada and Israel. This is America’s first and only International Prophecy Congress. It is expected to be filled early.

Norbert Lieth

Wilfred Hahn

Irit Iffert

Jael Kalisher

Arno Froese

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GOOD NEWS
Although cost in general is going up, we are happy to announce that our renegotiated contract with the Landmark Resort Hotel shows lower prices for accommodations than in 2011.

MOST IMPORTANT
Rooms are available on the first-come first-serve basis. We urge you, therefore, to make your reservations now to secure the best accommodations before the “no vacancy sign” appears.

CONGRESS REGISTRATION
2012 ATLANTIC COAST INTERNATIONAL PROPHECY CONGRESS
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When Light Meets Darkness
MIDNIGHT CALL

20-22 October 2012

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Midnight Call’s
March Resource Guide
“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30)
It is the prophet Daniel who gives us the information about the world’s first Gentile superpower, Babylon. He later writes about Persia, and then speaks of the future, Greece. Finally, he mentions an unidentified structure, the last Gentile superpower, “…The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces” (Daniel 7:23). There are several words we must take note of, “upon earth…diverse…all kingdoms…whole earth.” That prophecy was made in about 550 B.C. Daniel and the prophets inform us how it has all been developing until our days. For centuries, many have speculated on or tried to interpret and name certain times and world leaders to fit the Bible’s description of the last Gentile superpower. Today, however, we see that the world is literally coming together. “The whole earth” is being unified before our very eyes. No nation can operate independently. All are dependent on each other. What’s happening in the East affects the West, and vice versa. One need not be an expert to see that the “whole world” is in reality becoming one. To better understand this development, we strongly urge you to read some of the books we are offering in this issue. One that was written almost 15 years ago with the aggressive title, How Democracy Will Elect the Antichrist, reveals much of what is taking place today. Then there is Wilfred Hahn’s up to date book titled Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied, giving you information about why things in the financial realm are in a tailspin. Another book we highly recommend is Democracy Invades Islam. It unveils some of the mysteries about the Arab rebellion…and the end in not in sight yet. What will happen next? What are we to expect? Will it affect the United States? The book is a must read. Norbert Lieth’s amazing book on the prophet Zechariah shows in unmistakable terms the development in the spiritual world. Lieth says, “Zechariah is the most Christ centered of all the prophets.” Don’t miss this exciting book, Zechariah’s Prophetic Vision for the New World. One more thing: whenever you take advantage of our resources, you will enrich yourself with the knowledge of Bible scholars, and you will contribute toward the continuous work of missions around the world. Midnight Call is America’s only international prophetic magazine.

How Daniel Saw Our Days
Daniel’s Prophecies Made Easy takes a new and refreshing look at the ancient prophecies illustrated by Nebuchadnezzar’s image, the four world powers, the ten horns and the climax of Antichrist’s dominion of planet Earth, followed by the establishment of God’s divinely ordained Kingdom.

Zechariah is the most Christ-centered of all the prophets.
Norbert Lieth explains how Zechariah documents Jesus’ First and Second Coming, His future rule, priesthood, kingship, humanity and divinity.

DANIEL’S PROPHECIES MADE EASY ITEM # 1057 • 240 pgs. • Paperback

ZECHARIAH’S PROPHETIC VISION FOR THE ITEM # 1052 • 304 pgs. • Paperback

NEW WORLD

$12.99 Sale $10

Author: Norbert Lieth

$12 Sale $10

Author: Arno Froese

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Something strange is happening in the Mideast.
The awakening of the Arab nations heralds to the world the coming great change—the Arabs are to be counted as an important power structure on earth. Democracy Invades Islam reveals how the Arab revolution will hasten the establishment of the final world government under the auspices of Democracy, led by Antichrist.

Is it possible that democracy will lead to the ultimate denial of freedom, liberty and justice?
Consider the Facts:
• Democracy is the most popular government system in the world • A global economy already exists • A one-world religion is right around the corner  Arno Froese’s years of extensive research and diligent study of the prophetic Word, coupled with global travel and a keen insight in developing trends, have resulted in the production of this timeless classic.

DEMOCRACY INVADES ISLAM
ITEM # 1072 • 256 pgs. • Paperback

$12.95 Sale $10

HOW DEMOCRACY WILL ELECT THE ANTICHRIST
Author: Arno Froese ITEM # 1064 • 352 pgs. • Hardcover

$17.95 Sale $15
A Complete Biblical Study of Death and the Afterlife
When Death Comes is a biblically based study answering life’s questions about death and the afterlife. This study is a great tool for the minister as well as the layman who wishes to have answers to some of life’s most puzzling questions.

Author: Arno Froese

Why It Pays to Be a Christian
This small book contains a huge message about salvation in Jesus Christ. Loaded with questions and testimonies from those who have found Christ, this book makes clear why it pays to be a Christian.

WHEN DEATH COMES
ITEM# 1056 • 224 pgs. • Paperback

WHY IT PAYS TO BE A CHRISTIAN
ITEM # 1054 • 96 pgs. • Paperback Author: Keith Harris

$12.99 Sale $10

$5.99 Sale $4

Author: Norbert Lieth

For Christians, perilous, faith-killing times are today…they’re a form of “Apocalypse Now” for the believer. How can believers avoid becoming prey to the lethal devices of a rapidly encroaching, end-time money snare and remain faithful and free stewards? For those seeking answers, this book offers a guiding light in the dark days of the current turmoil.

GLOBAL FINANCIAL APOCALYPSE PROPHESIED
ITEM # 1068 • 340 pgs. • Paperback

$14.95 Sale $12

Just what lies ahead for

• Author: Wilfred J. Hahn

America?
MARCH 2012 43

Alex Grobman systematically and methodically exposes the myths and lies about the Arab right to the land of Israel.
Hardcover
Grobman traces the historical, religious and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel after the end of Jewish sovereignty in 70 CE; dispels the Arab claim that Palestine is a “twice promised land,” because the British pledged it to both the Arabs and the Jews; examines the Arab reaction to the Balfour Declaration and Jewish immigration to Palestine that established a precedent for dealing with Arabs that continues to this day; and describes Arab activities during WWII to thwart an Allied victory.

THE PALESTINIAN RIGHT TO ISRAEL
ITEM # 2256 • 336 pgs. • Hardcover

$19.99 Sale $18

Author: Alex Grobman

Don’t miss this blockbuster, also by Alex Grobman!
CHAPTERS INCLUDE: • The Forgotten Friendship: Israel and the Soviet Bloc • A Day of Infamy • The UN and Israel: From Recognition to Reprehension • How Three Discredited Jew Hatreds Led to Z=R • The Jewish and Arab Response to Z=R • The uses of Holocaust Denial and its Consequences • The Results of Z=R: Global Antisemitism

NATIONS UNITED
ITEM # 2228 • 192 pgs. • Hardcover

$19.95 Sale $15

Author: Alex Grobman

History Unfolding on a Grand Scale
Based on Ussher’s The Annals of the World and featuring colorful artwork representing people and events from creation to the late 19th century, this vintage biblical and historical timeline was originally published in 1871! Post it on your walls and let it fuel your children’s imaginations as they learn. Features 21 foldout 13" x 28" panels.

Discover: • Who were the first navigators? • Who was the Emperor of China during the reign of Solomon? • What kinds of alphabets were used in the ancient world? • What advances in mathematics were made during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign? • How much was a Bible worth in 1440 A.D.? Study: • Time-line includes detailed biblical history • Ancient history (including Greek and Roman) • Inventions, Discoveries and Events • European and American early history and many other details One-of-a-kind: • 21 full-color panels, large format time-line that is easy to read — nothing on the market in this size. • Starts with Creation at 4004 B.C. and goes to 1870 and our 18th president Ulysses S. Grant.

ADAMS’ CHART OF HISTORY
ITEM# 2236 • Casebound

ADAMS’ CHART OF HISTORY
ITEM# 2237 • Folds only

$37.99 Sale $32 $27.99 Sale $22
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An exquisite reproduction of a circa-1850 large, single-volume collection of Flavius Josephus’ complete literary works.
A priest, scholar, and warrior, this Jewish historian was born just a few years after the death of Jesus Christ. Best known for his works The Antiquities of the Jews and The Jewish Wars, Josephus is an oft-cited source for students of biblical chronology and history.

Hardcover

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS
ITEM# 2241 • 890 Pages • Hardcover

$59.99 Sale $45

Editor: William Whiston

A Rapid-Reference Directory of Religion and Spirituality in America
The great breadth of topics within this volume makes it the perfect starting point for finding out anything you need to know about today’s religious groups, denominations, sects, and cults. Ideal for both students and scholars.

Yoga: What position should a Christian hold?
From fast-food franchise promotion to virtual video-game venues, yoga is a revolutionary movement worldwide — even among Christians. But is it simply stretching, as some Christians claim? Is it a way to “breathe out” the effects of sin and stress, allowing the believer to “breathe in” the Holy Spirit? Or is yoga one of the greatest Trojan horses of our time?

THE CONCISE GUIDE TO TODAY’S RELIGIONS AND SPIRITUALITY
ITEM# 2234 • 368 pgs. • Paperback

YOGA AND THE BODY OF CHRIST
Author: James K. Walker ITEM# 2224 • 176 pgs. • Paperback

$14.99 Sale $12

$9.99 Sale $8

Author: Dave Hunt

Fast Facts on False Teachings
Cult experts Ron Carlson and Ed Decker combine their extensive knowledge to give you quick, clear facts about 16 of today’s major false teachings. Their short, informative chapters highlight the major teachings and contrast them with the truth revealed in God’s Word.

Biblical Analysis of a Controversial Subject
How much of Freemasonry has infiltrated our churches? Why are Masons allowed to retain their positions of leadership in our churches? Why is Freemasonry touted as a harmless fraternal organization, when its roots are steeped in mysticism, magic and murder? These are just a few of the many questions author Keith Harris answers in The Masonic/Christian Conflict Explained. We must take this issue seriously if we intend to take back our churches from unbelievers.

FAST FACTS ON FALSE TEACHINGS
ITEM# 2194 • 258 pgs. • Paperback

$10.99 Sale $10 Authors: Ron Carlson & Ed Decker
A Devastating Response To Darwinism
IF ANIMALS COULD TALK
ITEM# 2209 • 118 pgs. • Paperback

THE MASONIC/CHRISTIAN CONFLICT EXPLAINED
ITEM# 1058 • 176 pgs. • Paperback

$12 Sale $8

Author: Keith Harris

$9.99 Sale $8
Author: Dr. Werner Gitt

MARCH 2012

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$80 for All 4!

Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings
DVD DVD DVD

Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings Volume One – The New Atlantis

Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings Volume Two – Riddles In Stone: Secret

Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings Volume Three – Eye of the Phoenix:

Item# 7075 • 120 min.

Architecture of Washington, D.C.
Item# 7076 • 170 min.

Secrets of the Dollar Bill
Item# 7078 • 120 min.

$29.99 Sale $25
The greatest “Whodunit” of the past 500 years! Secret Mysteries takes the mystery out of America’s history. If America was founded as a Christian nation, why are many of its symbols, buildings, and monuments based on Pagan traditions? There is no doubt that much of America’s national heritage was Christian, but just as a coin has two sides, our national heritage has a second side—one based squarely on occult secret societies and their values.

$29.99 Sale $25
This video continues our examination of the true history of America's founding. We examine the architecture, the paintings, the sculptures and the street layouts of Washington, D.C. Since so much controversy over the centuries has erupted concerning the role Freemasons have played in the founding of America and of our nation’s Capitol, we set up a public debate with top-ranking Masonic authorities on the one hand and independent researchers on the other.

$29.99 Sale $25
This high quality History Channel type documentary proves the following points about the two Seals on the back of the One Dollar Bill with clarity and precision: 1) The two Seals are Egyptian and Luciferian 2) The two Seals were introduced by Freemasons, in 1782 3) Masonic President Franklin Roosevelt, aided by his Secretary of Agriculture/Vice President Wallace, ordered these Seals to be placed on the back of the Dollar Bill in 1935, having been urged on and advised by the Russian channeler/ mystic, Nicolas Roerach.

What did the founders believe about Jesus Christ?
DVD

The Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers is perhaps the first and only documentary to go where no film has ever gone before, confronting the little known beliefs of America’s founders. Conservative Christian leaders often claim that the revolutionaries were godly men who were trying to build a Christian nation. But was their faith the true faith of the Bible? Or is it possible that the exact opposite is true? The real questions are: What did the founders believe about Jesus Christ? Christianity begins with faith in the Person of Christ Himself: what did the founders think of Him? What did they think of the Gospel? Were they fighting for Christianity, or against it?
Included in this DVD: 1) The faith of Thomas Paine 2) The faith of Thomas Jefferson 3) The faith of Benjamin Franklin 4) The faith of John Adams 5) The faith of George Washington 6) Washington & the Jesuits 7) Bartonian History 8) The Question of Freemasonry 9) Biblical World View

Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings Volume Four – The Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers

Item# 7082 • 180 min. $29.99 Sale

$25

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2012
The Mid-America

PROPHECY CONFERENCE

Marriott Tulsa Southern Hills 1902 East 71st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma

March 29-31, 2012
2012 Mid-America Prophecy Conference • Tulsa, Oklahoma SPEAKERS: David Reagan • Arno Froese • Daymond Duck • Terry James • Gary Fisher • Mark Hitchcock • David Hitt • Music by Shawn Crane TOPICS INCLUDE: Global Rebellion Prophesied • The Departure • The Covert Mid East War • Rise of Last Days Mid East • Israel: The Key to Understanding Today’s News • Jesus The King! REGISTER NOW: $58 per person by March 1. $68 per person after March 1. HOTEL RESERVATION: Special conference room rate: $81 per night. Please call 866-530-3760 for the reservation.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION
Mail to: Mid-America Prophecy Conference P.O. Box 14575, Tulsa, OK 74159

Registration by internet: www.bibleprophecyaswritten.com

Registration by phone: (918) 748-1806 Registration by email: ministry@prophecywatch.com

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Windows of Worship

Come into His Presence
CD

CD

WINDOWS OF WORSHIP
ITEM # 9062 • CD

COME INTO HIS PRESENCE
ITEM # 9064 • CD

$14.95 Sale $10
Pat Frazier’s Windows of Worship piano medleys will stir your soul as you hear the old-fashioned, greatly beloved and enduring hymns of times past.
• Jesus Name Above All Names • He Leadeth Me • Give Thanks • Amazing Grace • My Father Watches Over Me and much more!

$14.95 Sale $10
Come Into His Presence by Michael Shull will lead you through 28 of the most beloved Christian hymns, starting with Sweet Hour of Prayer and concluding with God Be With You. This instrumental presentation will touch your heart and lead you to worship Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
• What A Friend We Have In Jesus • Shall We Gather At The River • When I Survey The Wondrous Cross • I Need Thee Every Hour and much more!

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